Hunter S. Thompson, the original Gonzo Journalist -- 1937 - 2005.
I respected his writing immensely & thought he was one of the few people capable of making sense of the crazy politics of the late 20th century. His masterwork is "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72", and two other highly recommended books are "Hell's Angels" and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas". His collected letters are also very much worth reading.
Inveterate Doonesbury readers may know that "Duke" is modeled on HST.
I was planning on holding a projector party to show "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and "Breakfast with Hunter" next weekend; looks like it'll have to be a memorial party instead. Sigh.
p.s. The Wikipedia is really on the ball, I have to say!
p.p.s. Wonder if Doonesbury will do a memorial cartoon?