Weird History
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Friends of Hunter S. Thompson Share Their Wildest Stories Featuring The Late Gonzo Journalist

Updated August 20, 2019 48k views12 items

Hunter S. Thompson was an eccentric writer and activist who lived a fascinating life. He grew up in Kentucky and went on to serve in the Air Force before becoming the father of gonzo journalism. Thompson documented his adventures from the time he spent in Puerto Rico, to his stint with the Hells Angels motorcycle club, to his campaign for sheriff of Aspen. Thompson lived on his terms, often going out of his way to take risks or go against the grain. 

Thompson's friends remember what it was like taking part in his outrageous escapades. Tales about the late gonzo journalist reveal what those traveling with Thompson experienced firsthand - both as witnesses and participants. Substances and fearlessness were a given with Thompson, and those fortunate enough to work with him will never forget his outlandish lifestyle. And if you don't believe these stories, we also got our hands on a fax Hunter S. Thompson sent Keith Richards... and it sure is madness, to say the very least.

  • David Swinson Said He Believed In The Healing Power Of Grapefruits

    Photo: Ranker

    David Swinson recalled hanging out with Thompson before an event, where the author told him something rather curious.

  • Ralph Steadman Said He Sold Their 'Rumble In The Jungle' Tickets For Intoxicants

    Photo: Ranker

    Thompson's illustrator and friend, Ralph Steadman, accompanied him to Zaire in 1974 to cover the "Rumble in the Jungle" match between Muhammad Ali and George Forman.

    Thompson famously missed the fight - instead, he passed out by a pool in a stupor.

  • Mike Sager Spent A Couple Of Hazy Weeks As His Assistant

    Photo: Ranker

    In 1990, Thompson was charged with possession. During his trial, Rolling Stone reporter Mike Sager spent two weeks with Thompson in an attempt to defend him. He recalled as much as he could, given each day started with a heavy dose of intoxicants.

  • George Plimpton Remembered Him Trying To Smuggle Elephant Tusks

    Photo: Ranker

    George Plimpton recalls that, following his return from Zaire and the "Rumble in the Jungle" boxing match he was supposed to cover (but did not), Thompson was concerned about transporting his African elephant tusks back to the United States.