A talented baseball player, he also played throughout school and semi-professionally whilst studying in college. He moved to New York in 1962 to join the New York Herald-Tribune and remained in the city for the rest of his life.
Despite earning a Ph.D., Wolfe set out on a career in journalism, working as a reporter at the Springfield Union in MA and later at The Washington Post. He went on to have best-selling success with his works of fiction and non-fiction, which also included "The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby". The writer pioneered New Journalism, a 1960s and 1970s literary movement characterized by colorful longform pieces written in a subjective voice.
In 1968 he published two bestsellers on the same day: "The Pump House Gang", made up of more articles about life in the Sixties, and "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test", a non-fiction story about the hippie era. He laughed about his trademark "feistiness" in the book to CBS News and said, "Well, I just try to bring truth".
Between 1965 and 1981, Wolfe wrote nine nonfiction books.
Co-pilot 'sucked halfway' out of plane after explosive decompression at 32000ft
A Chinese pilot was almost sucked out of a plane with 119 passengers aboard when one of the cockpit windows fell out mid-flight. The Sichuan Airlines aircraft was flying from Chongqing to Lhasa on Monday morning when the incident happened.
His debut novel The Bonfire of the Vanities, published in 1987, was a satirical drama about New Yorkers looking at issues such as ambition, social class, racism and greed.
"Once I zeroed in on these areas, I would then find the characters", he added. He rose to fame for his essays and bold arguments coupled with exhaustive reporting, peaking with the book The Right Stuff in 1979, which focused on the first American astronauts and the Mercury space program. Starring Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis and Melanie Griffith, it was a commercial and critical flop.
During the course of his career, Wolf wrote for the likes of Harper's Magazine and Esquire.
The writer, known for his dapper style and signature white suits, became a star in his own right in the '70s and '80s, which was rare for a journalist.