In the malaise of post-1960s America, Hunter S. Thompson famously set out to find The American Dream. His findings would bastardized by college students everywhere, who don’t understand that the prolific journalist and Captain Jack Sparrow are not the same person.

Seriously, ten bucks says that when you think of the name “Hunter S. Thompson”, you think “drugs”, “Johnny Depp”, “male pattern baldness”, “incomprehensible mumbling”, and “drugs”.

So it probably wouldn’t shock you to hear that instead of graduating high school like his friends, Hunter was in jail.

He wasn’t a bad kid. He was actually really smart. He was a part of a literarily society in his town, and found his calling as a writer at an early age. Then his dad died.

The death of his father sparked something in Thompson to rebel – a lifelong asset of his. Unfortunately, he was charged with accessory to robbery – just for being in the car with the robber. He was given 60 days in jail, at 17.

His family wasn’t exactly well off, unlike the other families in Louisville, Kentucky. This was a factor in Thompson’s punishment. They didn’t have much prestige, and as the story goes, that was the reason Hunter took the brunt of it.

His high school principal refused to let him graduate, because he was in jail. When Hunter got out, he threw a beer bottle through the administrators window.

After that, Thompson joined the air force, where he was a ‘sports writer’ for the base paper. When he decided he wanted to be a writer, he struggled for a while (we all do, though). He would go on to invent a new type of journalism – “Gonzo“, ride with The Hell’s Angels, and follow the 1972 presidential race. He even made Conan go shooting with him.

There are a million Hunter S. Thompson quotes, to end on just one would be unjust. Hunter was smarter than people realized, brazen to the point of insanity, and got away with the unimaginable only to turn it into the factual. The man was a legend-and he didn’t need to graduate to prove it. Know more.