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Happy Birthday, Hunter S. Thompson: Photo Gallery and Classic Stories

July 18, 2007 1:50 PM ET

Seventy years ago today, a one-off named Hunter Stockton Thompson was born in Louisville, Kentucky. Almost from the get-go, he made his presence felt: According to Hunter's first wife Sandy, his mother said that he "shot out of the womb angry." Thirty-three years later, in 1970, Hunter ran for sheriff in Aspen, Colorado, where he based himself for the rest of his peripatetic life -- an experience he chronicled in his first piece for Rolling Stone. The rest, of course, is history: Thompson perfected a new form in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, changed political writing with Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, and became, as Jann Wenner has written, "part of the DNA of Rolling Stone," as well as a singular American legend in both his writing and his life. To borrow one of his own favorite accolades, he stomped terra. Happy Birthday, Hunter.

Click here for a Hunter S. Thompson photo gallery.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: Excerpt
Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, 2004

And look for the release of Corey Seymour and Jann S. Wenner's "Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson," an oral biography to be published in October by Little, Brown & Co.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Vans”

The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

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