Hunter S. Thompson Net Worth At Death – How Did He Get Rich?

Hunter S. Thompson Net Worth At Death

Hunter Stockton Thompson has an estimated net worth of $5 Million. Counterculture icon Hunter S. Thompson was an American journalist best known for writing 1971’s ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ and creating “Gonzo Journalism.” The majority of his income came from his career as a Journalist, Author, Novelist and Writer. 

Hunter S. Thompson developed a talent for writing at a young age and began his career in journalism while serving in the United States Air Force after high school. Following his military service, Thompson traveled the country covering a wide range of topics for a variety of magazines, developing an immersive, highly personal reporting style that became known as “Gonzo Journalism.” He would use the style in his best-known book, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, published in 1972, which was an instant and lasting success. Thompson’s hard-driving lifestyle, which included a steady use of illicit drugs and an ongoing love affair with firearms, and his relentlessly antiauthoritarian work made him a perpetual counterculture icon for the rest of his life. However, Thompson’s addiction to substances contributed to several bouts of poor health, and he committed suicide in 2005 at the age of 67.

To calculate the net worth of Hunter S. Thompson, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity she has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as student loans and credit card debt, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: Hunter S. Thompson
Net Worth: $5 Million
Monthly Salary: $40 Thousand+
Annual Income: $500 Thousand+
Source of Wealth: Journalist, Author, Novelist, Writer 

Hunter S. Thompson’s Early Life

Thompson was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and grew up in the “Cherokee Triangle,” a historic downtown neighborhood, and attended Louisville Boys’ High School. His parents, Jack and Virginia, married in 1935, leaving three children (Hunter, Davison, and James) in the care of his mother, who had a drinking problem, after his father’s death.

Hunter was arrested for robbery in 1956. After wrecking a delivery truck for the trucking company he worked for, he enlisted in the United States Air Force during the mandatory waiting period before military service.

After working in the base information department in Eglin, Florida, in 1956, he became sports editor of the base newspaper, The Command Courier. He also wrote for local newspapers, which was against Air Force rules.

He was honorably discharged in 1958 on the recommendation of his superior officer. “In short, this soldier is talented but incapable of being guided by politics,” Colonel WS Evans, chief of intelligence, wrote to the commanding officer at Eglin Base. “At times, his superior attitude and rebelliousness seem to rub off on other members of the force.” Thompson scoffed in a fake press release about his dismissal, saying he had been declared “totally unclassifiable.”

After his discharge, he moved to New York and attended Columbia College, where he took courses in short story writing.

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Hunter S. Thompson’s Early Career

During this time he worked for Time magazine as a copyist, for a salary of $51 per week. At work, he took the opportunity to copy on his typewriter the books The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, claiming that he wanted to learn the authors’ style.

In 1959, he was fired from Time for insubordination. Later that year he worked as a journalist for the Middletown Daily Record in New York. Shortly after, he was fired for damaging a candy machine in the newspaper’s offices and for arguing with the owner of a restaurant who was also a sponsor of the paper.

In 1960, Thompson moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to work for the sports magazine El Sportivo, which did not last long. The move to Puerto Rico, however, allowed him to travel to the Caribbean and South America to freelance write for various media outlets on the continent. He worked as a South American correspondent for a Dow Jones & Company publication, The National Observer.

During this time, he wrote two novels-Prince Jellyfish and The Rum Diary-and submitted several short stories to various publications. The Rum Diary was published in 1998, long after Thompson had become famous.

Hunter S. Thompson as Journalist

In 1965, Thompson received an offer from Carey Williams, editor of The Nation, to write an article about his experiences with the Hells Angels motorcycle gang. Thompson had lived and ridden with the Hells Angels for a year, but the relationship broke down when the bikers suspected Thompson was making money from his lyrics. 

The gang demanded a cut of the profits, and it all ended with Thompson being brutally beaten. When The Nation published the article on May 17, 1965, Thompson received several offers to publish a book until Random House published the hardcover edition titled Hells Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs, 1966.

Most of Thompson’s best work was published in Rolling Stone magazine. His first article published there was “Freak Power in the Rockies,” in which he reported on his 1970 run for sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado, as a member of the Freak Power Party.

Thompson lost in a close vote after promising in his campaign to decriminalize drug use (but not drug trafficking, which he disapproved of), destroy the roads and turn them into pastures for people to walk, ban buildings so tall they obscure the landscape and mountain views, and rename Aspen(Colorado) “Fat Town.” To give himself the pleasure of calling the Republican rival he was running against “my hairy opponent,” he shaved his head.

Thompson worked as a political correspondent for Rolling Stone and retained the title of Director of National Affairs for thirty years, until his death. Two of his books, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Fear and Loathing in the 1972 Presidential Campaign, were published in the magazine.

Along with Joe Eszterhas and David Felton, Thompson was instrumental in helping Rolling Stone expand beyond music criticism. In fact, Thompson was the only writer on staff at the time who never wrote an article about music for the magazine. 

His stories, however, always included brushstrokes and references to popular music, from Howlin’ Wolf to Lou Reed. Armed with one of the first fax machines, he became famous for delivering his articles at the last minute, almost illegibly, to the magazine’s San Francisco offices, always too late to edit and correct, but just in time to publish.

In 1970, Thompson wrote an article titled The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved for a small sports magazine called Scanlan’s Monthly. 

Although the article was barely read at the time, it is the first in which Thompson employs the techniques of gonzo journalism-a style he would maintain for the rest of his literary career. The manic and subjective first-person account was probably the result of Thompson’s desperation as he faced an impending deadline for turning in the article. 

Running out of time, he tore the pages from his notebook and sent them to his editor without correcting or even arranging them. Ralph Steadman, who would later collaborate with Thompson on a series of articles, contributed with expressionistic drawings in ink and pencil. Thompson was resigned and sure to be fired by him when his editor called to congratulate him on the “excellent” article he had written.

The first person to use the word gonzo to describe Thompson’s work was journalist Bill Cardoso. Cardoso first met Thompson in 1968 on a bus full of journalists en route to cover the start of the U.S. presidential election in New Hampshire. Cardoso described the appearance of the Kentucky Derby article as an epiphany: “Well, that’s pure Gonzo. If this is the beginning, keep it up.” Thompson immediately spoke up, saying, according to Ralph Steadman, ” Okay, this is what I do: gonzo “.

Dr. Hunter developed a symbol to represent the new journalism he had created. This symbol consisted of a large red hand with two thumbs, one at each end of the hand, with a closed fist in the middle, enclosing a piece of peyote (Lophophora williamsii), a cactus endemic to Mexico, known for its hallucinogenic effects. and that Thompson liked so much.

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Hunter S. Thompson’s Assets

Given Hunter S. Thompson’s estimated net worth, he should own some houses, cars, and stocks, but Hunter S. Thompson has not publicly disclosed all of his assets. So we cannot get an accurate figure on his assets.

Hunter S. Thompson Personal Life

On May 19, 1963, he married his longtime girlfriend Sandra Dawn Conklin and they had a son, Juan Fitzgerald Thompson, who was born on March 23, 1964. The couple tried to have more children, but his wife suffered three miscarriages and two babies died shortly after birth.

After 19 years together and 17 years of marriage, Hunter and Sandy divorced in 1980; they remained friends until Hunter’s death in 2005.

On Feb. 20, 2005, at the age of 67, the journalist took his own life with a gunshot to the head. His son Juan issued a press release reporting, “Dr. Hunter S. Thompson ended his life by shooting himself in the head at his fortified estate in Woody Creek, Colorado. Hunter jealously guarded his privacy and we ask that his friends and admirers respect that privacy and that of his family.

His remains were shot off with a cannon from the top of a tower with the fist of two thumbs pointing upward, a symbol of gonzo journalism.

Hunter S. Thompson Quotes

Freedom is something that dies unless it’s used.


In a closed society where everybody’s guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.


For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled.


I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky and I learned, early on, that Habitual Domination was a natural way of life.


There is nothing more helpless and irresponsible than a man in the depths of an ether binge.

Good news is rare these days, and every glittering ounce of it should be cherished and hoarded and worshipped and fondled like a priceless diamond.


Yesterday’s weirdness is tomorrow’s reason why.


You can turn your back on a person, but never turn your back on a drug, especially when it’s waving a razor-sharp hunting knife in your eye.


The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.

View our larger collection of the best Hunter S. Thompson quotes.

Further Reading

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