He first came to wide notice with the 1968 novel The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, an account of counterculture icon Ken Kesey and friends, aka the Merry Pranksters, traveling the country in their painted bus and the adventures they experienced.
Wolfe, who produced nine non-fiction books from 1965 to 1981, had lived in New York since joining The New York Herald Tribune as a reporter in 1962.
Wolfe himself coined the term in 1973 when he published a book of articles called The New Journalism, featuring the likes of Truman Capote, Joan Didion and Gay Talese, who penned the famous literary-style profile "Frank Sinatra Has A Cold".
He was never deterred by the fact that he often did not fit in with his research subjects, partly because he was such a sartorial dandy, known for his white suits. Written in a wild free-association style that disregarded rules of punctuation, it was filled with sentence fragments and used words like "skakkkkkkkkkkkkkk" and "wowwwwwww".
Officer, 4 attackers dead in Indonesia police station assault
On Monday, a family of five, including an eight-year-old child, mounted a suicide bombing at the Surabaya police headquarters, injuring 10 people.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday that Wolfe's "wry wit and sharp observations defined an era of life in New York".
Born in Richmond, Virginia, on March 2, 1930, Wolfe was a star baseball player at his high school and also edited its newspaper.
"I thought so many times about what went wrong", DiNovi said in the book. He didn't just help me to become a writer.
In this way, Wolfe was a pioneer of storytelling and creative nonfiction whose influence is still felt today. He'd never leave the city, making a home there with his wife Sheila and their two children until his death.