Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (1937 – 2005)

February 21, 2005

Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, dead at 67.

Hunter’s writing has been a constant source of personal inspiration and madness for 30+ years.

Gonzo PosterHunter S. Thompson

“So much for Objective Journalism. Don’t bother to look for it here – not under any byline of mine; or anyone else I can think of. With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.”
— Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72

Thompson was the true master of subjective journalism, and in his subjectivity often found truths that many were afraid to see, and even more were afraid to voice.

Although he hid it well with brilliant satire and brash arrogance, at the core of much of Thompson’s writing was a deep and abiding concern for America, and for the truth, and he defended both with a dogged persistence, particularly from those who cynically pretended to stand for those very values.

Hunter was an American Hero in the truest sense of the word, one of the finest and most important writers of the 20th century, and beneath the rhetoric, an often brilliant observer of both domestic politics and world affairs.

“There he goes. One of God’s own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”

Dr. Thompson is gone now, and I am poorer for it.

Give ’em hell, Duke, wherever you are.


Mahalo, Doc.

Selected Online Reading:

Salon: The Duke of Hazard

(have a salon cookie, if you don’t have one already)

The Real Hunter S. Thompson (excellent)

HST Quotes from Wikiquote

Thompson’s 1994 Obituary for Richard Nixon

Thompson’s final ESPN Column

Articles and Essays regarding HST, including several interviews

Additional Articles & Interviews


[metafilter] – “Plant your period, pay your respects or shut the fuck up.” Well said.

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5 Responses to “Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (1937 – 2005)”

  1. rimone on February 21st, 2005 12:54 pm

    thank you, Chuck. i spent the day staring off, reading about the Dr, getting high and once more, watched ‘fear and loathing.’ bah…totally gutted.

  2. Chuck on February 21st, 2005 3:12 pm

    Me too.  Took me hours to decide what I wanted to say.

    Update – Scratch that. I can’t quit editing it.  Figures—they always had to pry his manuscripts away from him with force to get him to leave ‘em alone.

    I’ve been reading Hunter since my teens, when I first discovered his articles in Rolling Stone. Since then, he has helped define and inform my worldview, and it was always a comfort knowing he was out there somewhere, keeping an eye on the world for the wierd and the doomed.


    I ran across an ad for “Hunter Thompson Poster on E-Bay” a bit ago, so I went over there and searched on his name… Unbelievable…

    Not only signed and first-edition books going for high dollar, but even normal editions of books that I suspect are actually still in print going for 10x – 20x the cover price (and getting bids).

    I guess this drove more than a few HST fans off their nut…

    Wish I could afford a copy of the Gonzo poster (shown above).  Today sure ain’t the day to buy it, however…

  3. Bradley Laboe on February 21st, 2005 7:36 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..

  4. Mark Faulk on February 26th, 2005 11:40 pm

    Excerpt from “Fear an Loathing in the 21st Century”:

    Hunter Thompson sensed that we are right back where we were before the sixties, that we have to fight the same goddamn battle one more time, and he just didn’t have the stamina….or the right drugs….to enter the fray again. In “Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ‘72”, when Nixon was on his way to being elected, Thompson asked “Jesus, where will it end? How low do you have to stoop in this country to become president?”. I’m afraid that, 32 years later, he came face to face with the god-awful answer to that question, and simply couldn’t live with the reality of what he learned. Hallucinatory bats coming at you at a hundred miles an hour are one thing, but witnessing the end of humanity as we know it is quite another. While many of us who grew up the sixties and early seventies understood that along with the mind-twisting acid trips and pill-induced manic roller-coaster rides came random moments of clarity, epiphanys that (almost) made the schizophrenic ride worth the price of admission, we also had to live with the gnawing realization that at some stage we had no choice but to re-enter the Reality Zone. It was a sobering thought for each and every one of us, and almost unbearable for those, like Thompson, who literally resided in the heartbeat of the Movement itself.

  5. rimone on February 20th, 2008 12:11 pm

    Chuck, your comment above especially the ‘can’t quit editing’ bit as well as the information you provided that Hunter was the same resonates so muchly it’s scarey. if i read it at the time you first posted it, i’ve forgotten but that’s the story of everything i write, no matter if it’s on the pink site, my real site, freeA3…anywhere, really.

    *big sigh* i too first read him in RS when they serialised what later became F&LILV. then living in the freak house upstate NY, just down the road from Big Pink, i found his Hell’s Angels book one night and i was MIA for the next few days.

    it occurs that on some level, not only did i immediately ID w/the man but i’ve been trying to be him in a way–actually, it’s a tidy little answer to the question of why i can’t really write about anything w/o it starring me. 🙁

    still gutted here. thanks again.

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