Hunter Stockton Thompson was an American journalist and author. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, to a middle-class family, Thompson had a turbulent youth after the death of his father left the family in poverty. He was unable to formally finish high school as he was incarcerated for 60 days after abetting a robbery. He subsequently joined the United States Air Force before moving into journalism. He traveled frequently, including stints in California, Puerto Rico, and Brazil, before settling in Aspen, Colorado, in the early 1960s.
Thompson became internationally known with the publication of Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs. For his research on the book he had spent a year living and riding with the Angels, experiencing their lives and hearing their stories first-hand. Previously a relatively conventional journalist, with the publication in 1970 of "The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved" he became a counter cultural figure, with his own brand of New Journalism which he termed "Gonzo", an experimental style of journalism where reporters involve themselves in the action to such a degree that they become central figures of their stories.