Tom Wolfe (b. 1931)

American journalist, essayist, and novelist. A native of Richmond, Virginia, Wolfe earned a B.A. at Washington and Lee University and a Ph.D. in American studies from Yale. Working as a traditional journalist at the Washington Post and the New York Herald Tribune, Wolfe started to utilize techniques derived from narrative fiction, creating what became known as “the New Journalism.” Books such as The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby (1965), The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1968), and From Bauhaus to Our House (1981) established his reputation as a witty social critic and historian of popular culture. Wolfe’s National Book Award–winning chronicle of the American space program, The Right Stuff (1979), was made into a popular film. His ambitiously sprawling satiric novels— Bonfire of the Vanities (1987), A Man in Full (1998), and I Am Charlotte Simmons (2005)—aim to depict the breadth of American society. See also tomwolfe.com.