More than a decade ago, Hunter S Thompson’s wish was fulfilled as guests at his funeral watched as his ashes were loaded into a cannon on top of a 47-meter-high tower and fired into the sky, accompanied by fireworks. Beyond a concise description of the man’s life, this piece offers some of Hunter S Thompson’s quotes that will make you see life differently.
Born Hunter Stockton Thompson on the 18th of July 1937, this fella is famous for being the founder of a style of journalism known as gonzo journalism. This style of journalism involves writing in a highly subjective way, often mixing fact and fiction and also incorporating the reporter as part of the story through the use of the first-person point of view. Although Hunter is long dead, his journalistic style is still a source of inspiration to countless reporters and filmmakers today.
In addition to being a journalist, a controversial one at that, Hunter was also an author of 38 books and numerous magazine and newspaper articles. As a matter of fact, his rise to fame came in 1967 after he published his book titled Hell’s Angels. However, he is best remembered for his 1971 novel, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
This novel, which tells the story of a long weekend road trip undertaken by journalist Raoul Duke (Hunter) and his attorney Dr. Gonzo, is registered in the history of American pop culture as one of the weirdest journeys anyone has ever embarked on. It is also a perfect expression of Hunter’s view of life. The late journalist did not only share his views about life and many other matters in his works alone; he was known to be someone who speaks his mind and his numerous quotes are proof of this.
To discover the wit and wisdom that set him apart as a counter-culture icon, check out some of Hunter S Thompson’s quotes below.
50 Hunter S Thompson’s Quotes That Will Make Your Day
1. The person who doesn’t scatter the morning dew will not comb gray hairs.
2. You can’t miss what you never had.
3. Sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whiskey and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind but falling in love and not getting arrested.
4. So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?
5. I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.
6. Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.
7. The Edge… There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.
8. Anything that gets your blood racing is probably worth doing.
9. Freedom is something that dies unless it’s used.
10. Sex without love is as hollow and ridiculous as love without sex.
11. 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.
12. When the going gets weird, the weird turn professional.
13. I have no taste for either poverty or honest labor, so writing is the only recourse left for me.
14. I am a roadman for the lords of karma.
15. There is no fool like a careless gambler who starts taking victory for granted.
16. It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.
17. I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours.
18. Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.
19. What kind of rat bastard psychotic would play that song right now, at this moment?
20. He that is taught only by himself has a fool for a master.
21. You can’t hoard fun. It has no shelf life.
22. An outlaw can be defined as somebody who lives outside the law, beyond the law and not necessarily against it.
23. By any accepted standard, I have had more than nine lives. I counted them up once, and there were 13 times I almost and maybe should have died.
24. Weird behavior is natural in smart children like curiosity is to a kitten.
25. The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.
26. If you can’t make yourself understood by your friends, you’ll be in trouble when your enemies come for you.
27. Pray to God, but row away from the rocks.
28. Yesterday’s weirdness is tomorrow’s reason why.
29. A man can live on his wits and his balls for only so long.
30. Some may never live, but the crazy never die.
31. It was obvious that he was a man who marched through life to the rhythms of some drum I would never hear.
32. Morality is temporary, wisdom is permanent.
33. Ah, that we lack the courage of our romantic convictions; and thereby miss the wine of life, forgoing the very thing that makes living worthwhile.
34. You better take care of me Lord, if you don’t you’re gonna have me on your hands.
35. And he would probably not agree with my conviction that a sense of humor is the main measure of sanity. But who can say for sure? Humor is a very private thing.
36. It’s a strange world. Some people get rich and others eat shit and die.
37. The greatest mania of all is passion: and I am a natural slave to passion: the balance between my brain and my soul and my body is as wild and delicate as the skin of a Ming vase.
38. I never knew where I was going, but I ripped the tits off of everything that got in my way. By the time they figured me out, it was too late.
39. A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.
40. I was not proud of what I had learned but I never doubted that it was worth knowing.
41. He had come so far from himself that I don’t think he knew who he was anymore.
42. America…just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.
43. For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled.
44. I’m a word freak. I like words. I’ve always compared writing to music. That’s the way I feel about good paragraphs. When it really works, it’s like music.
45. 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.
46. If you’re going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you’re going to be locked up.
47. On my tombstone they will carve, “IT NEVER GOT FAST ENOUGH FOR ME.
48. We cannot expect people to have respect for law and order until we teach respect to those we have entrusted to enforce those laws.
49. We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and – in spite of True Romance magazines – we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely – at least, not all the time – but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.
50. With the truth so dull and depressing, the only working alternative is wild bursts of madness and filigree.