Hunter S. Thompson Commits Suicide

Author Hunter S. Thompson Commits Suicide (AP)

Hunter S. Thompson, the acerbic counter-culture author of books such as “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” fatally shot himself Sunday night at his Aspen-area home, his son said. He was 67. “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.

Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis, a personal friend of Thompson, confirmed the death to the News. Sheriff’s officials did not return calls to The Associated Press late Sunday.

via Jeff Goldstein, who has commentary and photographs.

I liked Thompson’s work, although I considered him a weirdo. His impact was huge, though, as the widespread reaction of the blogosphere, irrespective of political ideology, demonstrates:

Michelle Malkin
Dean Esmay
Kevin Aylward
Kevin Drum
Julian Sanchez
Radley Balko
Chris Lawrence
Michele Catalano
Ed Driscoll
Susanna Cornett
Jerome Armstrong
Orrin Judd
Duncan Black
James Lileks
Jeff Jarvis
Bryan S.
Glenn Reynolds
Jeff Quinton

FILED UNDER: Popular Culture
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Hunter S. Thompson Kills Himself
    Yahoo! News – Writer Hunter S. Thompson Kills Himself
    By ROBERT WELLER, Associated Press Writer

    ASPEN, Colo. – Hunter S. Thompson, the hard-living writer who inserted himself into his accounts of America’s underbelly and popularized a first-person…

  2. Thanks for your accurate headline. Most headlines are reading “Thompsom Died”. While that might be factually correct, it doesn’t exactly lead the reader to what really happened.

  3. Jay says:

    I’m feeling uncultured. When Deb mentioned last night he had died, my reaction was “who?”

  4. ZuDfunck says:

    HST Dead? Maybe It’s Just Gonzo Death?
    Hunter S Thompson spoke of death and dying so many times. Maybe this is just one of his Tangent riddled sub plots being played out in real time. Having had a profound influence on ZuD in his day, he

  5. Ipse Dixit says:

    Sad, But Somehow Unsurprising
    Hunter S. Thompson killed himself this weekend. He was 67. My father, who died 12 years ago, was about Hunter’s…

  6. Why Thompson went to Owl Farm
    Lileks (via Instapundit — who else?) does a good summing up.

    Wow. My initial thought was, “Yeah, I suppose Hunter S. Thompson has to die, too.” If Johnny Carson,…

  7. Hunter S. Thompson – Suicide
    Hunter S. Thompson decides to end it all. (H/T Backcountry Conservative) Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) — Hunter S. Thompson, the counterculture author of “Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga” and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” killed himself…

  8. Brian says:

    Didn’t HST spend election eve with “I AM SAM” Penn?? That was probably enough to push anyone over the edge!

  9. Django Bliss says:

    “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…”

  10. Lou Minatti says:

    Hunter became a pathetic caricature of himself, starting in 1972. He took himself far too seriously in Fear And Loathing On The Campaign Trail, and journalists kissed his ass. I think the exposure went to his head.

    Here are some comments about my experience HST:

  11. Fred says:

    Hunter Thompson was a native of my current hometown, Louisville, KY (and arguably the first gonzo piece was his 1970 story about the Kentucky Derby), and today’s Louisville Courier-Journal has some interesting backstory, including a very funny 1996 story about a reporter’s attempt to interview Thompson as part of a celebration commemorating the 25th anniversary of Fear and Loathing. Of course, you could also see the post on my blog if you were so inclined.

  12. R.I.P., Hunter S. Thompson
    I didn’t agree with his politics but how could I be anything but saddened by the loss of someone who wrote things like this?
    I wouldn’t recommend sex, drugs, or insanity for everyone, but they’ve always worked for me. When the going gets weird, th…

  13. Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (1937 - 2005)
    Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, dead at 67. Hunter's writing has been a constant source of personal inspiration and madness for 30+ years. "So much for Objective Journalism. Don’t bother to look for it here–not under any byline of mine; or anyone…

  14. Hunter S. Thompson Dead
    The famed counterculture writer who invented “gonzo journalism” committed suicide tonight in his home.

    Update (2/21): Insights and links from Joe Gandelman and James Joyner.