Tom Wolfe - Author, Family and Childhood

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Tom Wolfe's Personal Details

Tom Wolfe is a famous American author and journalist

InformationDetail
BirthdayMarch 2, 1931
NationalityAmerican
FamousAuthor, Atheists, Yale University, Writers
SpousesSheila
Known asThomas Kennerly Tom Wolfe Jr.
Childrens Alexandra, Tommy
Universities
  • Yale University
  • Washington and Lee University
  • Yale University
Notable Alumnis
  • Yale University
Birth PlaceRichmond, Virginia, USA
Height160cm
GenderMale
FatherThomas Kennerly Wolfe Sr.
MotherLouise
Net Worth$60 million as of Dec 21,2016
Sun SignPisces
Born inRichmond, Virginia, USA
Famous asAmerican author

// Famous Author

Tom Wolfe's photo

Who is Tom Wolfe?

One of the most popular and audacious journalists/authors of our age, Tom Wolfe heralded the ‘New Journalism’ movement, which broke the conventions and restrictions on journalistic writing. His unique and fresh style of writing suited the popular magazines including Harper's, Esquire, The New Yorker and Rolling Stone. He has also been credited for coining certain words/phrases such as ‘statusphere,’ ‘the right stuff,’ ‘radical chic,’ ‘the Me Decade,’ and ‘social x-ray’, which have become a part of English vocabulary. His influence, especially in the world of printed media, is massive and not only he taught writers to exercise a certain degree of independence, but also introduced the usage of present tense while writing profile articles. Later, he wrote novels which were commercially successful but many of the mainstream writers severely criticized his writings owing to the approach he adopted in his literary works. Even today, disagreements between him and writers such as John Updike, Norman Mailer, Gore Vidal and John Irving are common in the public eye. Nonetheless, he remains one of the greatest journalists of the present day, who showed a new technique and offered a new insight into journalism, which also dealt with analysis and evaluation of facts.

// Famous Atheists

Childhood & Early Life

Tom was born to Thomas Kennerly Wolfe, Sr. an agronomist and Louise Wolfe, a landscape designer.

As a child he attended the St. Christopher's School, Richmond, Virginia, where he was the student council president. Apart from being the editor of the newspaper published by the school, He was also an excellent baseball player.

He graduated in 1949 and went to the Washington and Lee University, where he pursued English literature.

At the university, he was appointed the editor of the sports section in the college newspaper and also helped establish ‘Shenandoah’, his college literary magazine.

He graduated with honors in 1951 after which he tried hands at baseball, and began playing at semi-professional level whilst at college.

He auditioned for the New York Giants in 1952, but the team could not keep him for more than three days, and he quit playing baseball. Thereafter, he attended the Yale University's American Studies and earned a Ph.D.

Career

He began his career as a reporter for ‘The Republican’, a newspaper in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1956.

He left ‘The Republican’ to work as a newspaperman for ‘The Washington Post’ where he covered the Cuban Revolution and was awarded the Washington Newspaper Guild Award for Foreign News Reporting, in 1961.

‘The New York Herald Tribune’ hired him in 1962, as a reporter and feature writer where he wrote articles for the paper’s Sunday supplement, later released as ‘New York Magazine’.

He was asked by the Esquire magazine to write an article on hot rod culture of Southern California, which he struggled to write. However, unable to deliver the article just before the due date in 1962, he sent a letter to the editor of the magazine explaining his ideas. Fascinated by the letter itself, the editor removed the greeting and published it as it was.

Wolfe received mixed reviews for the article which, according to him, promulgated ‘the New Journalism’, a novel journalistic writing style. A collection of his articles he had contributed to Esquire were made into a book and published under the title ‘The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby’ in 1965. The book became a rage among car lovers.

It was followed by ‘The Pump House Gang’ in 1968, a book based on several features of the counterculture of the 1960s. The same year, he published ‘The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test’, which went on to become one of his best books till date.

In 1970, he came up with an essay which was a critical account of a party given by Leonard Bernstein, a composer and musician, for raising funds for Black Panther Party. The essay was titled ‘Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers’.

He published ‘The Right Stuff’ in 1979, through which he offered an insight into the careers and lives of America's first astronauts.

His first novel ‘The Bonfire of the Vanities’ was published in 1987, which was based on the metropolitan lifestyle of New York.

His next venture was his second novel ‘A Man in Full’ which took him 11 years to complete, and was published in 1998.

In 2001, he came up with ‘Hooking Up’, a short story and essay collection, some of which were written earlier for some popular magazines.

‘I Am Charlotte Simmons’, his third novel, was published in 2004. It was about a poor, down-to-earth and brilliant student from Alleghany County, North Carolina and her experience in a respectable university in the city.

‘Back to Blood’, his fourth novel based on the lives of Cuban immigrants in Miami, Florida, was published in 2012.

Major Works

His first collection of essays ‘The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby’ was hugely popular and became a bestseller.

His book ‘The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test’, which is considered one of his best works in the stream of ‘New Journalism’, explores the beginning and development of the hippie movement.

‘The Bonfire of the Vanities’, his first novel, received immense critical appreciation, much more than his other publications, and was also a bestseller for a very long time.

Awards & Achievements

In 1980, he received the National Book Award for non-fiction for his book ‘The Right Stuff’ which described the lives of the first astronauts of America.

He was honored with the National Humanities Medal in 2001, in recognition to his contribution towards humanities.

He was awarded the ‘Academy of Achievement Golden Plate’ for accomplishments in the field of journalism.

Personal Life & Legacy

He married Sheila Berger in 1978 and the couple has two children, Alexandra and Thomas.

An atheist, Wolfe is 82 years old and currently lives with his family in New York City.

Trivia

This famous American journalist-cum-author wears a white suit as his trademark.

This renowned American author and journalist once derided Wikipedia by saying “only a primitive would believe a word of it”.

// Famous Writers

Tom Wolfe awards

YearNameAward

Other

1973Frank Luther Mott Research Award
1974D.Litt.
Washington and Lee University
1977Virginia Laureate for literature
1980National Book Award for Nonfiction for The Right Stuff
1980Columbia Journalism Award for The Right Stuff
1980Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award of the American Institute of Arts and Letters
1980Art History Citation from the National Sculpture Society
1984John Dos Passos Award
1986Gari Melchers Medal
1986Benjamin Pierce Cheney Medal from Eastern Washington University
1986Washington Irving Medal for Literary Excellence
1998Finalist for the National Book Award for A Man in Full
2001National Humanities Medal
2003Chicago Tribune Literary Prize for Lifetime Achievement
2004Bad Sex in Fiction Award from the Literary Review
2005Academy of Achievement Golden Plate Award
2006Jefferson Lecture in Humanities
2010National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters
1961 - Washington Newspaper Guild Award for Foreign News Reporting
1961 - Washington Newspaper Guild Awards for Humor
1970 - Society of Magazine Writers Award for Excellence

Tom Wolfe biography timelines

  • // 2nd Mar 1931
    Tom was born to Thomas Kennerly Wolfe, Sr. an agronomist and Louise Wolfe, a landscape designer.
  • // 1949
    He graduated in 1949 and went to the Washington and Lee University, where he pursued English literature.
  • // 1951
    He graduated with honors in 1951 after which he tried hands at baseball, and began playing at semi-professional level whilst at college.
  • // 1952
    He auditioned for the New York Giants in 1952, but the team could not keep him for more than three days, and he quit playing baseball. Thereafter, he attended the Yale University's American Studies and earned a Ph.D.
  • // 1956
    He began his career as a reporter for ‘The Republican’, a newspaper in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1956.
  • // 1961
    He left ‘The Republican’ to work as a newspaperman for ‘The Washington Post’ where he covered the Cuban Revolution and was awarded the Washington Newspaper Guild Award for Foreign News Reporting, in 1961.
  • // 1962
    ‘The New York Herald Tribune’ hired him in 1962, as a reporter and feature writer where he wrote articles for the paper’s Sunday supplement, later released as ‘New York Magazine’.
  • // 1962
    He was asked by the Esquire magazine to write an article on hot rod culture of Southern California, which he struggled to write. However, unable to deliver the article just before the due date in 1962, he sent a letter to the editor of the magazine explaining his ideas. Fascinated by the letter itself, the editor removed the greeting and published it as it was.
  • // 1965
    Wolfe received mixed reviews for the article which, according to him, promulgated ‘the New Journalism’, a novel journalistic writing style. A collection of his articles he had contributed to Esquire were made into a book and published under the title ‘The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby’ in 1965. The book became a rage among car lovers.
  • // 1968
    It was followed by ‘The Pump House Gang’ in 1968, a book based on several features of the counterculture of the 1960s. The same year, he published ‘The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test’, which went on to become one of his best books till date.
  • // 1970
    In 1970, he came up with an essay which was a critical account of a party given by Leonard Bernstein, a composer and musician, for raising funds for Black Panther Party. The essay was titled ‘Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers’.
  • // 1978
    He married Sheila Berger in 1978 and the couple has two children, Alexandra and Thomas.
  • // 1979
    He published ‘The Right Stuff’ in 1979, through which he offered an insight into the careers and lives of America's first astronauts.
  • // 1980
    In 1980, he received the National Book Award for non-fiction for his book ‘The Right Stuff’ which described the lives of the first astronauts of America.
  • // 1987
    His first novel ‘The Bonfire of the Vanities’ was published in 1987, which was based on the metropolitan lifestyle of New York.
  • // 1998
    His next venture was his second novel ‘A Man in Full’ which took him 11 years to complete, and was published in 1998.
  • // 2001
    In 2001, he came up with ‘Hooking Up’, a short story and essay collection, some of which were written earlier for some popular magazines.
  • // 2001
    He was honored with the National Humanities Medal in 2001, in recognition to his contribution towards humanities.
  • // 2004
    ‘I Am Charlotte Simmons’, his third novel, was published in 2004. It was about a poor, down-to-earth and brilliant student from Alleghany County, North Carolina and her experience in a respectable university in the city.
  • // 2012
    ‘Back to Blood’, his fourth novel based on the lives of Cuban immigrants in Miami, Florida, was published in 2012.

// Famous Alumni of Yale University

Tom Wolfe's FAQ

  • What is Tom Wolfe birthday?

    Tom Wolfe was born at 1931-03-02

  • Where is Tom Wolfe's birth place?

    Tom Wolfe was born in Richmond, Virginia, USA

  • What is Tom Wolfe nationalities?

    Tom Wolfe's nationalities is American

  • Who is Tom Wolfe spouses?

    Tom Wolfe's spouses is Sheila

  • Who is Tom Wolfe childrens?

    Tom Wolfe's childrens is Alexandra, Tommy

  • What was Tom Wolfe universities?

    Tom Wolfe studied at Yale University, Washington and Lee University, Yale University

  • What was Tom Wolfe notable alumnis?

    Tom Wolfe's notable alumnis is Yale University

  • How tall is Tom Wolfe?

    Tom Wolfe's height is 160

  • Who is Tom Wolfe's father?

    Tom Wolfe's father is Thomas Kennerly Wolfe Sr.

  • Who is Tom Wolfe's mother?

    Tom Wolfe's mother is Louise

  • What is Tom Wolfe's sun sign?

    Tom Wolfe is Pisces

  • How famous is Tom Wolfe?

    Tom Wolfe is famouse as American author