People Who Died #3: Hunter S. Thompson Dead at 67

A few moments ago, I was cheerfully writing some delayed emails, typing away chirpy as all hell, when I learned, to my great horror and sorrow, that Hunter S. Thompson died this evening, and by his own hand.

According to MSNBC, Thompson was the victim of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. At 67, he was only one of the finest writers of the last half-century; one of the true innovators in his field; and possibly the only journalist alive who knew how to write about Richard Nixon without getting lost in a reflexive objectivity. If I listed the three or four authors whose prose has had a lasting, defining influence on my own, he would be among them.

Unlike many who pass at his age, he probably had more to offer the world. Perhaps he didn't think so; which may be why he decided to take his own life today.

I hope those who populate the afterlife, in whatever form, are ready for what they'll have on their hands now.

Requiescat in pace, Raoul Duke.

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