July 18, 2013
Happy 76th Birthday, Hunter S. Thompson!
The journalist and gonzo innovator died in 2005. In honor of his birthday, here is a collection of stories from The Atlantic’s archives.
He Was a Crook (June 1994) - On the passing of Richard Nixon, Thompson looked back on the man who became his arch-nemesis:"Richard Nixon is gone now, and I am poorer for it. He was the real thing—a political monster straight out of Grendel and a very dangerous enemy. He could shake your hand and stab you in the back at the same time."
Writing on the Wall (August 1997) - Matthew Hahn sat down with Thompson to interview him about politics, Bill Clinton, Nixon and his style of journalism. He ended up getting that, plus whiskey and orders to read aloud some of Thompson’s work:"Aw, man. I drank this like some sort of sacrament for—I mean, constantly—for I think fifteen years. No wonder people looked at me funny. No offense. This is what I drank, and I insisted on it and I drank it constantly and I liked it. Jesus."
Hunter S. Thompson Applies for a Job (October 2010) - Most people try to present themselves with tact and courtesy in a job application. In 1958, Thompson wrote to the Vancouver Sun in a letter that did the opposite:”As far as I’m concerned, it’s a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity.”
The Hunter S. Thompson You Don’t Know (July 2011) - Although Thompson is remembered as a larger-than-life personality, Hampton Stevens argues that it’s his writing that should hold the fame.
[Image: Michael Ochs/Getty Images Archives]

Happy 76th Birthday, Hunter S. Thompson!

The journalist and gonzo innovator died in 2005. In honor of his birthday, here is a collection of stories from The Atlantic’s archives.

  • He Was a Crook (June 1994) - On the passing of Richard Nixon, Thompson looked back on the man who became his arch-nemesis:

    "Richard Nixon is gone now, and I am poorer for it. He was the real thing—a political monster straight out of Grendel and a very dangerous enemy. He could shake your hand and stab you in the back at the same time."
  • Writing on the Wall (August 1997) - Matthew Hahn sat down with Thompson to interview him about politics, Bill Clinton, Nixon and his style of journalism. He ended up getting that, plus whiskey and orders to read aloud some of Thompson’s work:

    "Aw, man. I drank this like some sort of sacrament for—I mean, constantly—for I think fifteen years. No wonder people looked at me funny. No offense. This is what I drank, and I insisted on it and I drank it constantly and I liked it. Jesus."
  • Hunter S. Thompson Applies for a Job (October 2010) - Most people try to present themselves with tact and courtesy in a job application. In 1958, Thompson wrote to the Vancouver Sun in a letter that did the opposite:

    As far as I’m concerned, it’s a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity.”

[Image: Michael Ochs/Getty Images Archives]

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