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Hunter S. Thompson Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (7) | Trivia (45) | Personal Quotes (36)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 18 July 1937Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Date of Death 20 February 2005Aspen, Colorado, USA  (suicide by gunshot)
Birth NameHunter Stockton Thompson
Nicknames Raoul Duke
Dr. Gonzo
Height 6' 3" (1.91 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Hunter S. Thompson was born on July 18, 1937 in Louisville, Kentucky, USA as Hunter Stockton Thompson. He was married to Anita Thompson and Sondi Wright. He died on February 20, 2005 in Aspen, Colorado, USA.

Spouse (2)

Anita Thompson (24 April 2003 - 20 February 2005) (his death)
Sondi Wright (19 May 1963 - 1979) (divorced) (1 child)

Trade Mark (7)

Used a gold tipped cigarette holder, which was also a tar filter
RAF-style sunglasses
Novels often featured characters who were crazed and self-destructive
Novels often feature angry rants
Often featured characters based on himself and his experiences
Frequently wore hats to cover his bald head
His fast paced, clipped, slurred way of speaking

Trivia (45)

The character of "Duke" in Garry Trudeau's "Doonesbury" comic strip is based on him.
Lived next to Don Johnson.
He wounded his assistant Deborah Fuller accidentally with a shotgun whilst trying to scare a bear from his property in Aspen, Colorado, USA. On August 3rd of that year, he was cleared of criminal charges of trying to wound his assistant. [July 2000]
Charged for possession of child pornography and sexually assulting former pornography star Gail Palmer. An eleven hour search of his home in Woody Creek, Colorado, turned up insufficient evidence to prosecute him on either of the charges, and the DA dropped its case.
Along with Don Johnson, wrote the script for the two-hour TV movie "Bridges," a story about an unstable, former alcoholic-drug addict cop who works in L.A. with a diminuitive Latino partner and dates a mafia boss's daughter. Although rejected by NBC, they bought the script and transformed it into the series Nash Bridges (1996).
Married for nearly 18 years to Sandra Dawn Thompson, during which he wrote what were considered his two greatest books "Hells Angels" and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas". During the marriage, Sandy's habit of partaking on drug and alcohol binges with her husband led to several miscarriages, and only one of her pregnancies produced a healthy child, now grown Juan Thompson. Eventually, the drugs put Hunter into a several years depressed state, fights broke out between the two, and Sandy took several beatings, some times of which she fought back and injured Hunter. When she told him she wanted a divorce, Hunter went ballistic, destroying some of her possesions and burning the manuscripts she had been writing. Sandy called the sheriff, a family friend, who sent a deputy up to her house to escort her into town. The deputy, naive to the situation, sheepishly asked Sandy if Thompson possesed any firearms, to which she truthfully replied: "Yes, 22 of them, and every one is loaded".
Since October 2000, has been penning a weekly column, "Hey Rube", for ESPN.com's Page 2.
Ran for Sheriff of Aspen, Colorado, in 1969 on the Freak Power Party ticket, and narrowly lost.
Graduate of Louisville (Ky.) Male High School, class of 1955. Missed his graduation exercises because he was in jail. He later started calling himself Dr. Thompson, after purchasing a doctorate in Divinity from a church by mail order.
Appeared on a 1967 broadcast of To Tell the Truth (1956) when his book detailing his experiences with the "Hell's Angels" was published.
Biography/bibliography in: "Contemporary Authors". New Revision Series, Vol. 133, pp. 410-417. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2005.
Once sold a Cadillac Eldorado to Lyle Lovett.
Underground cartoonist turned comics and animation historian Scott Shaw based a recurring character in his works after Thompson: an anthropomorphic dog named "Pointer X. Toxin".
His final wishes stipulated that his body be cremated and his ashes be shot out of a cannon across his Colorado ranch. Journalist friend Troy Hooper said "He was a big fan of bonfires and explosions and anything that went bang and I'm sure he'd like to go bang as well." This finally happened on August 20, 2005, along with a big celebration, attended by Sean Penn, Johnny Depp, Lyle Lovett, and other close friends and family.
Grandson, son of his only child Juan, was born 1998.
Wife, Anita, was 35 years younger than he was.
Shortly before his death, he talked in his ESPN.com column about 'inventing' a new sport: Shotgun Golf.
He was the basis for the character Spider Jerusalem in the comic series "Transmetropolitan" by Warren Ellis and Darik Robertson.
Has a song entitled "Bat Country" written after him by the band Avenged Sevenfold.
Wanted his remains to be shot out of a 150 foot long canon. The canon had to be built especially to fulfill this last wish.
Johnny Depp, who starred in two movie adaptations of Thompson's books (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) and The Rum Diary (2011) ), helped to fulfill his last wish.
In order to improve his writing style, he once copied F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel "The Great Gatsby" word for word, from start to finish.
Rode a BSA A65 Lightning most notably whilst researching his seminal book Hell's Angels. Towards the end of his period with the Hell's Angels, he wrote that he was beaten up by them.
Rode a BSA A65 Lightning most notably whilst researching his seminal book "Hell's Angels". Towards the end of his period with the Hell's Angels, he wrote that he was beaten up by them.
His favorite pastime was to load a barrel or oil drum with explosives and then shoot it from a safe distance with one of his many handguns.
After covering the 1972 Democratic Convention in Miami for Rolling Stone Magazine, Thompson went for an evening swim in the ocean to clear his head. A light tropical storm blew up, Thompson got caught in a riptide, and he was swept out to sea. He spent the rest of the night fighting to swim back to the beach, finally crawling ashore at 9:00 A.M.
His son Juan graduated from college Magna Cum Laude.
At 15 he made an electric go-kart using the engine of a washing machine.
His mother was a chronic alcoholic.
With the aid of two friends he robbed a liquor store by starting a fight with the clerks and then cleaning out the cash register in the confusion.
During his adolescence, he and two friends broke into and robbed the same Lexington (Kentucky) gas station on three consecutive nights.
Critics have often contended that his writing style noticeably declined after his wife, Sandy, divorced him.
Following high school graduation, he joined the Air Force as a condition of his parole.
When he lived in Big Sur in the early 1960s, he rode his BSA Lightning so much he was known as "The Wild One of Big Sur".
Pleaded no contest to a drunken driving charge in San Francisco in 1987.
When he lived in Big Sur in the early 1960s, his next door neighbor was Joan Baez.
When he was living in Big Sur in the early 1960s, a group of religious fanatics moved in next door. He got rid of them by nailing the head of a wild boar to their front door, and by putting its entrails in their car.
One of the most widely quoted lines from tributes and obituaries to him was from one written by Frank Kelly Rich, editor and publisher of Modern Drunkard Magazine: "There was always a powerful comfort in knowing he was out there somewhere in the night, roaring drunk, guzzling high-octane whiskey and railing against a world amok with complacency and hypocrisy."
His lifelong antipathy for Richard Nixon was known by the former president, who barred him from the White House.
Following Richard Nixon's appearance in New Hampshire during the 1968 campaign, he offered Thompson a lift to the airport on the condition that the two of them talk about nothing but football. Thompson accepted, mostly because he thought Nixon knew nothing about the sport. He discovered that, in fact, Nixon was an avid fan, clear down to which colleges the top players were from!.
Was a staunch opponent of the War in Iraq in his later years.
Was extremely critical of the Bush administration.He once said that "if Nixon were running, I would happily vote for him instead".
Shortly after Ernest Hemingway's suicide in Ketcham, Idaho, he wrote an article titled, "What Lured Hemingway to Ketcham". Thompson concluded that Hemingway had become depressed because all of the author's favorite haunts - such as Paris and Cuba - had changed, and all of his friends were dead or different. Hemingway had nothing to live for. Ironically, the same thing happened to Thompson.
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 538-541. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.
Had his first run in with the law at the age of 9, when him and a group of friends knocked a federal mailbox in front of a city bus.

Personal Quotes (36)

(Concerning Garry Trudeau modeling the "Doonesbury" character "Duke" after him): "I've never met Garry Trudeau, but if I ever do, I'll set him on fire".
(Comparing Las Vegas from when he wrote "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas" to today): "The city's frightening now. That's the basis of my reaction to Las Vegas. It's not the city I wrote about. It's not the same place at all. You'll notice that even the - what do you call them?
  • milestone or trademark casinos are now gone."

I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
When I attended a press conference for (President) Jimmy Carter, I signed more autographs than Carter did. The Secret Service agents didn't know who I was. They thought I was an astronaut.
(After the death of Richard Nixon in 1994): "If the right people had been in charge of Nixon's funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin."
(On Bill Clinton): "It's almost embarrassing to talk about Clinton as if he were important. I'd almost prefer Nixon. I'd say Clinton is every bit as corrupt as Nixon, but a lot smoother."
The last train out of any station will not be full of nice guys.
The world is still a weird place, despite my efforts to make clear and perfect sense of it.
By any accepted standard, I have had more than nine lives. I counted them up once, and there were thirteen times when I should have died.
The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.
Some may never live, but the crazy never die.
Call on God, but row away from the rocks.
If I'd written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people, including me, would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.
Freedom is something that dies unless it's used.
We are turning into a nation of whimpering slaves to Fear -- fear of war, fear of poverty, fear of random terrorism, fear of getting down-sized or fired because of the plunging economy, fear of getting evicted for bad debts, or suddenly getting locked up in a military detention camp on vague charges of being a Terrorist sympathizer.
The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is, are the ones who have gone over.
Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why.
Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.
Going to trial with a lawyer who considers your whole life-style a Crime in Progress is not a happy prospect.
If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you're going to be locked up.
[About conservative politician/writer Pat Buchanan] "We disagree so violently on almost everything that it's a real pleasure to drink with him."
I have a theory that the truth is never told between 9-5 business hours.
Morality is temporary, wisdom is permanent.
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.
[About the September 11, 2001 attack] "The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for peace in our time, in the United States or any other country. Make no mistake about it: we are at war now - with somebody - and we will stay at war with that mysterious enemy for the rest of our lives."
It never got weird enough for me.
No one is stealing our freedoms, we're dealing them away.
[In a letter to a friend] "Yes, once in a while I smile for a picture. See enclosed. It was taken for a passport."
A group photo of the top ten journalists in America on any given day would be a monument to human ugliness.
Where will it end? How low do you have to stoop in this country to be the President?
Being barred from the White House is like being banned from the Playboy Club. It carries with it a certain distinction.
Life is full of odd moments -- you never know when you're gonna get defiant.
It's a strange world. Some people get rich and others eat sh*t and die.
Paranoia is just another word for ignorance.
The only difference between the Sane and the Insane is IN and yet within this word, the Sane have the power to have the Insane locked up.
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, 'Wow! What a ride!'.

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