Wolfe was in his mid-70s while hanging out with college kids and working on the novel I Am Charlotte Simmons, and was a fairly conservative drug-free observer in a coat and tie while traveling with Ken Kesey and his LSD-dropping hippie tribe known as "The Merry Pranksters" for The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test in the '60s. I didn't consciously model my first novel, "Turn of the Century", on Mr. Wolfe's first novel, "The Bonfire of the Vanities", but I was a middle-aged magazine journalist, and it was a big, panoramic social comedy set in NY about the media and rich people and failure, so when half the reviews and articles compared it to "Bonfire", I just shut up and smiled. In 1979, he published the book The Right Stuff about the Mercury Seven astronauts.
Born in Virginia in 1931, Wolfe went straight into reportage out of university, beginning at the Springfield Union in MA. "We mourn the loss of this literary master and New York City icon, and are proud that through his archive, we can keep his words and legacy alive for generations to come".
"To be honest, I have only five more planned". I had the same lack of education, and in 1984 I presumed to become Time's architecture and design critic. Wolfe had taken a then-unusual path to writing, for an establishment kid from Richmond, Virginia, taking a PhD in American Studies, a discipline which emphasised the importance of everyday life. He admitted he liked the attention they brought him.
Wolfe lived in NY with his wife, Sheila.