The author died at a Manhattan hospital on Monday after being hospitalized with an infection, The Guardian reports. He edited the influential collection The New Journalism, which included essays by Joan Didion, Truman Capote, Norman Mailer, and others.
A dapper dresser and NY icon, Wolfe was known for his trademark white suits, homburg hats and white kid gloves.
His agent told The Wall Street Journal: "He is not just an American icon, but he had a huge global literary reputation". As fate would have it, Wolfe graces the cover of our summer issue-in the mail as I type-wherein we have one of the last interviews that he ever gave. Nine years later and in a more restrained style than some of his earlier works, he wrote "The Right Stuff" about the first seven US astronauts and test pilot Chuck Yeager who came before them. 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.
In a span of 16 years, Wolfe produced nine nonfiction books, including one of his most famous, "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test", in which he hit the road in a psychedelic bus with writer Ken Kesey and his so-called band of Merry Pranksters bent on turning the world on to LSD.
Quickly developing an unconventional style, he was much-recognised for his work, winning an award from The Newspaper Guild for foreign reporting in Cuba in 1961 and also scooping the Guild's award for humour.
Image Tom Wolfe seen in his usual dapper white suit
Wolfe, the grandson of a Confederate rifleman, began his journalism career as a reporter at the Springfield (Mass.) Union in 1957. 'He didn't just help me to become a writer, he did it with pleasure'. "He goes out and writes a best-selling novel". They want to tell you things that you don't know.
"Saddened to hear of Tom Wolfe's passing". Whether sending up the NY art world or hanging out with acid heads, Wolfe inevitably presented man as a status-seeking animal, concerned above all about the opinion of one's peers.
Wolfe moved to writing novels in the mid-1980s, penning "The Bonfire of the Vanities".
After this he wrote a number of popular books, both documentary and artistic.
Wolfe is survived by Sheila Wolfe, his wife of almost 40 years; a son, Tommy Wolfe, and a daughter, Alexandra Wolfe.