1. He autographed his books by shooting them.
2. His debaucherous lifestyle was the inspiration for no less than three Hollywood feature films.
He was portrayed on screen by Bill Murray and Johnny Depp.
3. He started calling himself Dr. Hunter S. Thompson after buying himself a mail-order doctorate in Divinity.
4. He paid for cocaine with multi-million dollar checks.
5. He invented a sport called shotgun golf.
It’s exactly what it sounds like and involves obliterating your opponent’s golf balls with shotgun shells.
6. He partied in a convertible with John Cusack and Johnny Depp… And an inflatable sex doll.
7. He lived, rode with, and eventually survived a beat-down from the Hell’s Angels.
8. As a prank on friend Jack Nicholson, he snuck up to his house in the middle of the night and placed a frozen elk heart on Nicholson’s doormat, causing blood to seep into the star’s living room.
He then stood on a hill above his house and fired shots into the sky to instill further terror.
9. Miami Vice actor Don Johnson once asked him to answer the famous Zen riddle, “What is the sound of one-hand clapping?” Thompson responded by slapping him upside the head.
10. He once invited Conan O’Brien to his house to drink whiskey and shoot assault rifles.
11. In 1970 he ran for Sherriff in Pitkin County, Colorado as part of the Freak Power ticket.
Amongst his platforms were the decriminalization of drugs, and renaming Aspen ‘Fat City’ to prevent “greed heads, land rapers, and other human jackals from capitalizing on the name ‘Aspen’”. He also shaved his head so that he could refer to the Republican incumbent as “my long-haired opponent.”
12. He despised Richard Nixon and everything he stood for, but bonded with him talking football for hours in the back seat of Nixon’s limo on the 1968 campaign trail.
13. He was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine multiple times.
14. The character of “Duke” in Garry Trudeau’s “Doonesbury” comic strip is based on him.
15. He liked to fill barrels with explosives and shoot them.
16. Johnny Depp was his roommate, partner in crime and close friend.
While living in the basement of Thompson’s home at Owl Farm, Depp realized Thompson had furnished it using crates of dynamite. Depp was smoking a cigarette at this poignant moment.
17. Months after this incident, Thompson shaved his buddy’s head as Depp prepared to play him in ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.’
Thompson would later be kicked off set for his raucous behavior.
18. His daily routine went something like this.
19. He once discharged a fire extinguisher on his boss and Rolling Stone founder, Jann Wenner.
20. He taught himself how to write by retyping F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ over and over on a type writer.
21. In high school, Thompson was arrested for stealing a man’s wallet. He and his friends also robbed the same gas station three nights in a row.
22. When given the choice between prison and the military, he chose the latter but was eventually “honorably discharged.”
According to a report issued shortly before being kicked out of the Air Force, “[Thompson], although talented, will not be guided by policy or personal advice and guidance. Sometimes his rebel and superior attitude seems to rub off on other airmen staff members.”
23. He predicted the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan the day after 9/11.
“The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for Peace in Our Time, in the United States or any other country. Make no mistake about it: We are At War now… We are going to punish somebody for this attack, but just who or what will be blown to smithereens for it is hard to say. Maybe Afghanistan, maybe Pakistan or Iraq, or possibly all three at once. Who knows? Not even the Generals in what remains of the Pentagon or the New York papers calling for WAR seem to know who did it or where to look for them.”
24. He was both loved and feared by many prominent politicians.
Former President Jimmy Carter described Thompson as “a delightful, unpredictable and unforgettable friend of mine for more than 30 years.” He also, however, recalled an incident in which “Thompson threatened my press secretary, Jody Powell, if he didn’t gain immediate access [for a re-interview]. One night he even built a fire in front of Jody’s hotel-room door in an attempt to smoke him out.”
25. His final wish was for his ashes to be blown out of 150-foot cannon into the stratosphere.
Johnny Depp financed the final wish and ceremony.
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