Gonzo journalist and counter-cultural icon Hunter S. Thompson died today of an apparent suicide. Thompson was the author of the classic , a book that inspired multitudes to take lots of drugs and go to Vegas, and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, still one of the best books about American politics. Although it's been a long time since SFist has been at college, we hope his chemistry fueled whacked out takes on late 60's, early 70's America are still as much a part of college as bong hits and spouting off Marxist Literary Theory.

Thompson was one of the leading practitioners of ""new journalism", a tenet made famous by Tom Wolfe and is now practically the template for most magazine articles written these days. Basically "new journalism" is about writing a particular event through the eyes of the writer, using their perspective to filter the story. Thompson himself said that he wrote "gonzo journalism" which is like new journalism except that the reporter became as much a part of the story as the story and the stories would be peppered with enough fiction to always make you wonder what was real and what wasn't. For instance, see the amazing amount of drugs he claims to have taken throughout his books. After awhile, Thompson became more famous as a character than for his writing (he's the inspiration behind the character Duke in Doonesbury) and became one of those people who felt they had to live up to their reputations. We saw him speak in college and could barely understand a word he said as he was completely and totally trashed throughout the night.

Photo of Hunter Thompson by Annie Leibovitz for Rolling Stone

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas