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Writer Hunter S. Thompson Commits Suicide

Hunter S. Thompson on the cover of his 2003 book <i>Kingdom of Fear</i>.
Hunter S. Thompson on the cover of his 2003 book Kingdom of Fear.

Hunter S. Thompson, the legendary and eccentric inventor of "gonzo journalism," was found dead Sunday in his home near Aspen, Colo. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 67.

Thompson's best-known work, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, is a quasi-fictional account of his drug-laced adventures in the city in 1972, when he had been sent to cover a motorcycle race for Sports Illustrated. The account wound up in Rolling Stone, and the book became a best-seller.

Thompson became a counterculture celebrity and was portrayed by Johnny Depp in the 1998 film version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He wrote about politics and American society, once saying that his beat was the "death of the American dream."

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Elizabeth Blair is a Peabody Award-winning senior producer/reporter on the Arts Desk of NPR News.