How does a man with yellow tinted aviator glasses, a trademark cigarette holder, and khaki pants become one of the most influential writers of modern day? With arrogance, and 22 loaded guns at all times of course. This writer has been through many different paths in life, his writing has the tendency to draw in all types of people: the heavily political, the heavily athletic, and the heavily psychotic. There can be no other than Hunter S. Thompson to fill this description. Thompson has been in jail, in the air force, in the stripper's tent, in spiritual error, in a poolside brawl, intoxicated, in Brazil, in sin, and in love. To allow ease of reading, Thompson will abbreviate Hunter S. Thompson's name.
Not to many authors have critics and readers alike arguing over his birth year. The date is no doubt, July 18, but when it comes to the year an argument breaks out. Some say 1937, and others say 1939. In "When the Going Gets Weird," by Peter O. Whitman states that Thompson was born in 1937, later stating "in 1946[ ] Hunter was 9" (32), also placing his birth year in 1937. However, William McKeen states in "Hunter S. Thompson" that his birth year was 1939. There is even a webpage debating what year Thompson was born-(http://www.gonzo.org/hst/ht/date.html). For the purposes of this paper, we will go with the more recognized date-June 18, 1937.
Thompson was born in Louisville, KY. His mother, Virginia Thompson, a housewife raised him and his two younger brothers Davidson Wheeler Thompson (6-18-1940) and James Garnett Thompson (2-2-1949). When Thompson was 15 his father, Jack Thompson, an insurance salesman who Thompson had little relationship with, died after a lengthy period of fatigue brought on by a rare disease called Myasthenia Gravis (gonzo.org). He died at the age of 69, 15 days before Thompson birthday. After his father's death, Thompson began a crime spree that has lasted the rest of his life.