july-18.jpgLegendary Gonzo journalist and independent film inspiration Hunter S. Thompson was born on this day in 1937. As a young man Thompson joined the U.S. Air Force and spent his time on the Florida military base as sports editor for its paper, The Command Courier. Over the years he would attend Columbia University and write for TIME and Rolling Stone, but it was his later experiences with the Hells Angels bicycle gang and on the campaign trail that led to infamous books and filmic interpretations. His general misadventures have since become fodder for many a popular movie, including 1980’s Where the Buffalo Roam and the cultish Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, starring Johnny Depp as the Gonzo writer himself. In February 2005 Thompson committed suicide at his home in Colorado and left a legacy of free spirit and maniacal schemes that have inspired many moviemakers to honor his legacy. Since his death, there have been no less than four documentaries made about his life, including: Blasted!!! The Gonzo Patriots of Hunter S. Thompson, Road to Hunter, Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride: Hunter S. Thompson on Film and 2007’s Hunter.

Factoid: To prepare for his 1998 role as Hunter S. Thompson, Johnny Depp moved into the basement of the writerâ€(tm)s Aspen home. While living in what the two deemed “the dungeon,” Depp even allowed his new landlord to shave off his hair—in the kitchen, with no mirror and a mining helmet atop the writerâ€(tm)s head. Nothing was ever conventional with Thompson around.