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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 April, 2005, 16:38 GMT 17:38 UK
Cannon fire send-off for Thompson
Hunter S Thompson with wife Anita Thompson
The writer shot himself while talking to his wife on the phone
The final wish of cult US writer Hunter S Thompson, to have his ashes fired from a giant cannon, will be granted in a ceremony later this year.

The author, who committed suicide in February at the age of 67, said on several occasions that he would like an artillery send-off for his remains.

"It's expensive, but worth every penny," said his wife Anita Thompson. "He loved explosions."

The ceremony will take place at his home in Aspen, Colorado in August.

The cannon will be mounted inside a permanent 53ft high monument of Thompson's trademark "Gonzo fist", a fist on an upthrust forearm which sometimes had Gonzo scrawled across it.

Public celebration

The ceremony will lie at the centre of a public celebration of Thompson's life, his wife said.

Benicio Del Toro, Hunter S Thompson and Johnny Depp at the premier of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Johnny Depp played Thompson in a film version of Fear and Loathing

Before his death Thompson, who was best-known for the 1972 cult classic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, had spent the weekend with his son, daughter-in-law and grandson.

He had been suffering from a series of health problems including a broken leg and hip replacement.

The 67-year-old journalist was speaking to his wife on the phone when he put down the receiver and shot himself in the head on 20 February.

In a statement, Hunter's wife Anita and son Juan said: "It is entirely fitting that Hunter, as a master of politics and control, chose to take his life on his own schedule by his own hand, rather than submitting to fate, genetics or chance."

"Though we will miss him bitterly, we understand his decision. Let the world know that Dr Hunter S Thompson died with his glass full, a fearless man, a warrior."

Party celebrates writer Thompson
06 Mar 05 |  Entertainment
Thompson 'shot himself on phone'
25 Feb 05 |  Entertainment
Hunter S Thompson commits suicide
21 Feb 05 |  Entertainment
Obituary: Hunter S Thompson
21 Feb 05 |  Entertainment
Hunter S Thompson: Your tributes
21 Feb 05 |  Have Your Say
Thompson's classic Las Vegas trip
21 Feb 05 |  Entertainment

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