The writer died of an infection in a hospital in NY on Monday, his agent Lynn Nesbit told The Associated Press.
Tom Wolfe, the innovative journalist and author who wrote such best-selling masterpieces as "The Bonfire of the Vanities" and "The Right Stuff" has passed away. No further details were available. Wolfe edited a volume of work by himself and other prominent writers of the era, including Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Hunter S. Thompson, Norman Mailer, George Plimpton, titled "The New Journalism".
Described as a chronicler and satirist of American culture, Wolfe believed that the only way to tell a great story was to go out and report it.
Wolfe had been living in New York since 1962, when he started reporting for the New York Herald Tribune.
Wolfe's first novel 'The Bonfire of the Vanities, ' was first serialised in Rolling Stone magazine and came out as a book three years later.
The film it spawned, however, was a critical and commercial flop, despite starring the likes of stars Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis, Melanie Griffith and Kim Cattrall.
His first book "The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby" was a collection of essays originally published in Esquire magazine.
Wolfe covered a range of topics in his prose, from Ken Kesey and the Beat Generation in the 1968 nonfiction book "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" to Cuban immigrants in Miami in 2012 novel "Back to Blood". The book was later adapted into a film with Sam Shepard, Dennis Quaid and Ed Harris in 1983.
Known for his white suits and fierce wit, Wolfe was the creator of "New Journalism", a style pioneered in the 1960s and 1970s which emphasised "truth" over facts. He is survived by his wife Sheila and son Tommy.