February 20, 2005

Legendary gonzo journalist Hunter Thompson commits suicide

Word just in from Aspen, CO: author, journalist and ESPN.com columnist Hunter S. Thompson, known for such works as "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," and the inspiration for the "Doonesbury" character Uncle Duke, shot himself to death tonight, according to his son.

Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis, who is a close personal friend of Thompson, confirmed the death. His son, Juan, found him Sunday evening.

"On Feb. 20, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson took his life with a gunshot to the head at his fortified compound in Woody Creek, Colorado. The family will shortly provide more information about memorial service and media contacts. Hunter prized his privacy and we ask that his friends and admirers respect that privacy as well as that of his family," Juan Thompson said in a statement released to the Aspen Daily News.

Thompson's first person narrative style, laced with action verbs and exploiting any story he wrote about to absurd levels became known as "Gonzo journalism."

He was also the originator of the phrase, "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

Thompson's final Hey Rube piece for ESPN.com, "Shotgun Golf with Bill Murray" is dated February 15.

Thompson's final column ended on a strangely appropriate note.

So long and Mahalo.


Though it won't be on his headstone, that final sentence certainly places a notable coda on his life.

Farewell, Uncle Duke.

Hunter S. Thompson was 67.

(More coverage from Michelle Malkin, Resurrection Song, Synthstuff & others)

Posted by mhking at February 20, 2005 11:29 PM

I will miss him ... BIG HUG for Juan, Jen, Willam and Anita… who never be able to fill the hole left in there lives by the man in spite of the myth and legend attached to his life.

Posted by: Bradley Laboe at February 21, 2005 04:17 AM

When I was 10 in early 1968 I begged for my friend to sell me the copy of Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga I was reading during my visits but he wouldn't part with it. I found it broken vertically down the pages by a local freight train where the boy had left it while reading it by the tracks! I had to read it like a jigsaw puzzle! I never found another copy until I bought one in my early forties! Hunter's words were remembered for 30 years and seemed like I had read them only yesterday! Godspeed Doc! I will write every word in your honor and put in a good Word for you with my Father

Posted by: Rev. Glenn Parker Jr. at February 22, 2005 02:28 AM

Hunter S. Thompson, will always have a place in my heart, absolute genius and legend, sex, drugs and journalism, absolute genius!

Posted by: Sean.P at February 22, 2005 08:31 AM
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