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Fireworks Salute Hunter S. Thompson

Johnny Depp, Bill Murray attend firing of late "gonzo" journalist's ashes

August 22, 2005 12:00 AM ET

Fireworks containing the ashes of Hunter S. Thompson were fired into the sky above his home near Aspen, Colorado, last Saturday in a farewell ceremony to the late author and "gonzo" journalist. Along with family, several guests were in attendance, including Senator John Kerry, the actors Johnny Depp and Bill Murray, former Senator George McGovern -- about whom Thompson wrote his seminal Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 -- and Rolling Stone editor and publisher Jann S. Wenner.

Thompson, who emulated Ernest Hemingway and once traveled to Idaho to solve the mystery of his death, shot himself at his home six months ago just like the "lost generation" novelist. He was sixty-seven years old. The sendoff was apropos, said his widow Anita: "He loved explosions."

The emotional gathering included two hours of tributes, from those who knew the famed writer well, such as Wenner, who called him "one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century" and "the DNA of Rolling Stone."

Depp, both a friend and the actor who portrayed Thompson in the 1998 film adaptation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, told the crowd, "It's good to be able to give something back. Hunter, this is for you."

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