Hometown Colorado Paper Pays Tribute to Hunter Thompson

By: The hometown newspaper of the late Hunter S. Thompson published a tribute edition Saturday, three days after what would have been his 70th birthday, celebrating the champion of "gonzo journalism."

Contributors to the "Gonzo Edition" of the Aspen Daily News included Ralph Steadman, a longtime friend; the writer's widow, Anita Thompson; Walter Isaacson, president of the Aspen Institute; and newspaper owner David Danforth.

"An adrenaline rush shared with these independent local journalists at the Daily News reminds me of Hunter's balancing act between fear and freedom," wrote Anita Thompson, who edited the issue.

Hunter S. Thompson spearheaded "gonzo journalism," a style in which reporters heavily involve themselves in the story and write in first person. He penned several books that reflected the style _ and his knack for political commentary _ including "Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72."

During the Watergate era, he said Richard Nixon represented "that dark, venal, and incurably violent side of the American character."

Thompson "would have been distressed but not surprised by what has happened in this country. He forecast all this just like Jonathan Swift did centuries earlier in England," said composer David Amram, a close friend of Thompson.

"But he would never give up on this country and wouldn't want us to, either," Amram said in a telephone interview from Putnam Valley, N.Y. "For all the stuff he said that was critical, he never said he wanted to go overseas or give up his citizenship. Just like Walt Whitman and Jack Kerouac, he left us writing that makes us want to see peace and justice for everybody."

Thompson committed suicide Feb. 20, 2005, in his home near Aspen.


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