Thompson grew up in the Highlands with his parents, Jack (who died when Thompson was 15) and Virginia, and two other children. For a time the family lived at 2437 Ransdell Ave.I'm an alumnus of Ballard so there's that basketball rivalry. Just thinking of that rivalry reminded me of my late BBYO mentor Jay Levine, who died two years ago to cancer. Jay was the Athletic Director at Male HS before going to the Louisville JCC to head up Youth Services (HS mainly). I wonder if they knew each other. Jay was 67 when he died.
Thompson attended Male High School, where he was active in athletics, but his graduation was delayed by a jail sentence.
In May 1955, Thompson and two other Male seniors were charged with robbing two couples of $8 in Cherokee Park. Thompson, who claimed he was framed, was given a 60-day jail sentence but was released after a month.
"I really love this state," Thompson told Courier-Journal reporter Bill Cox in 1972. "But you have to leave it to ever get to do what you want to do."
One work that helped make Thompson a star had a Kentucky connection — a 1970 magazine article, "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved." The writing was hailed as a "great breakthrough in journalism" and dubbed "gonzo" by writer Bill Cardoso.
Thompson was honored in Louisville in 1996 with a tribute at Memorial Auditorium on the 25th anniversary of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."
Thompson also was the model for Gar r y Trudeau's balding "Uncle Duke" in the comic strip "Doonesbury" and was portrayed on screen by Johnny Depp in a film adaptation of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."
Other books include "The Great Shark Hunt," "Hell's Angels" and "The Proud Highway." His most recent effort was "Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness."
His compound in Woody Creek, not far from Aspen, was almost as legendary as Thompson. He prized peacocks and weapons; in 2000, he accidentally shot and slightly wounded his assistant, Deborah Fuller, while trying to chase a bear off his property.
Hunter S. Thompson: The Toast of his fans (December 13, 1996).
Hunting for Hunter by Jeffrey Lee Puckett