TOM Wolfe, famous for works like The Bonfire of the Vanities, The Right Stuff and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, has passed away in Manhattan at the age of 87. "He was one of the greats and his words will live on forever".
Wolfe became a major figure in the NY social scene, identified with his distinct personal style - typified by a white, 3-piece suit.
Wolfe had been living in New York since 1962, when he started reporting for the New York Herald Tribune. His first book, The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, arrived in 1965, collecting his early non-fiction essays.
In 1979, he published his bestseller "The Right Stuff" about Project Mercury astronauts in the NASA space program and the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union.
He then moved onto his first work of fiction, "The Bonfire of the Vanities" a seminal tale of 1980s NY involving a Wall Street banker, a Bronx high school student, and a tabloid reporter.
Former Aston Villa footballer dies in vehicle crash
It is understood that the man who was driving the van sustained serious injuries and was immediately taken to hospital for treatment.
His agent confirmed the news to The New York Times.
Wolfe was born on March 2, 1930 in Richmond, Virginia, and never sought to rebel against his conservative, white bourgeois upbringing.
In 1968, the same year "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" was published, Wolfe wrote "The Pump House Gang", a collection of nonfiction stories about a gang of surfers who hung out at a sewage pump house in Windansea Beach in Southern California.
Even more controversial was Wolfe's 1975 book on the American art world, "The Painted Word", which outraged many artists. They had two children.