Tom Wolfe, author of The Right Stuff dies at 88

Tom Wolfe at home in New York in 2016

Tom Wolfe at home in New York in 2016 Credit Dan Callister

Author Tom Wolfe, chronicler and satirist of American culture, has died aged 87.

Lynn Nesbit, Wolfe's longtime agent, confirmed the death to the New York Times and said Wolfe had been hospitalized with an infection. He moved to New York in 1962 to join the New York Herald-Tribune and remained in the city for the rest of his life.

Multiple outlets credit Wolfe as a creator of "New Journalism", a style that combined traditional reporting and immersive writing.

Born in Richmond, Virginia in 1931, Wolfe attended Washington and Lee for undergrad and Yale for his Ph.D. "I felt it was really far too risky to take a chance -- and they didn't try to pressure me".

In 1968 he published two bestsellers on the same day: "The Pump House Gang", made up of more articles about life in the Sixties, and "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test", a non-fiction story about the hippie era. "I carried a copy of Electric Acid Kool-aid Test with me throughout high school, dazzled by the idea that you could really write like that about real things".

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The list went on with "Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers", in 1970, a highly controversial book about racial friction in the United States.

Wolfe's 1979 bestseller "The Right Stuff" focused on the U.S. astronauts involved in the space race with the Soviet Union.

Wolfe's first novel, The Bonfire of the Vanities, was a series of essays for Rolling Stone magazine and came out as a book in 1987.

Wolfe is survived by Sheila Wolfe, his wife of almost 40 years; a son, Tommy Wolfe, and a daughter, Alexandra Wolfe.

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