The Current

Hunter S. Thompson's son on fearing, loathing and loving the 'gonzo' journalist

For millions of his fans, Hunter S. Thompson was the gonzo, hard-drinking, drug-taking, gun-shooting wild man of American counter-culture journalism. But to Juan Thompson, he was dad. Now he shares what it was like to grow up with Hunter S. Thompson.

Hunter S. Thompson’s son on his father's last days

The Current

5 years ago
Juan Thomspon watched as years of drugs and booze wore away at his father. Juan Thomspson talks to The Current host Anna Maria Tremonti about his father's last days. 1:56

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Hunter S. Thompson was a journalistic figure who rose to fame and acclaim in the 1960s and '70s by covering politics and culture in a way that went beyond just colourful prose. It was downright psychedelic.

Juan Thompson, 6, with mustache clowning around for the photographer, sitting with his dad Hunter S. Thompson in the kitchen at Owl Farm circa 1971. (Photo courtesy of Juan Thompson)

Thompson invented the first-person, irreverent style of "gonzo" journalism that inspired generations of writers after him, and he went on to become a celebrity in his own right.

But to Juan Thompson he was always just "dad."

Juan Thompson, son of 'gonzo' journalist Hunter S. Thompson, found his father dead on February 20, 2005. Thompson's ashes were fired from a tower in a memorial service at Thompson's farm in Woody Creek, Colorado. (Reuters)

Juan F. Thompson's new memoir, Stories I Tell Myself, Growing Up with Hunter S Thompson shares memories of his childhood growing up with the outlaw writer and how their conflicted relationship grew to include fear, loathing and love.

This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal.