“No one is yet certain who he was,” said an Associated Press article that appeared in The New York Times on Sept. “But his diary and two notes found at the camp tell a wrenching story of his desperate and progressively futile efforts to survive.” The young man in question was Christopher Mc Candless. “I decided I wanted to write this book because I felt like there was a lot more to tell; there was a lot I hadn’t discovered,” Mr. A film based on the book, starring Emile Hirsch as Mr.

His identity was not confirmed for weeks, but in time he would become internationally famous as a bold, or very imprudent, figure. Mc Candless died alone in an abandoned bus on the Stampede Trail, a desolate stretch of backcountry near Denali, in August 1992. Mc Candless and directed by Sean Penn, was released in 2008. Mc Candless’s story continues to fascinate, confound and infuriate readers two decades after “Into the Wild” was first published. Krakauer said it was by far his best-selling work, adding, “I get more hate mail from this book than probably from anything else.” “He’s this Rorschach test: People read into him what they see,” he said of Mr. “Some people see an idiot, and some people see themselves. Mc Candless came from a well-off family on the East Coast.

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We relived the first steps on the moon and the speech that divided India and Pakistan.

And we asked Anderson Cooper, Cory Booker, Dominique Dawes, Tom Brokaw and David H.

We heard the echoes of shots that reverberated in America and around the world.

We mingled with criminals, leaders, protesters, artists and athletes, many who forever changed their professions.

This summer, we invite you to join us as we exhume obituaries from our archives, some dating to the 19th century.

You’ll meet leaders, inventors, entertainers, artists, novelists and the infamous — each linked in some way to the obituary.

On some days we’ll ask influential people a simple question: If you could have dinner with one person who is no longer with us, who would it be, and why? You can send us an email using this form or tweet the editor of this project, Shreeya Sinha @shreeyasinha, or the main writer, @DSlotnik. Terry Fincher/Getty Images;, via Reuters; Jacques Langevin, via Associated Press; Press Association, via Associated Press; Erich Auerbach, via Getty Images; Damon Winter, via The New York Times; John Lent, via Associated Press;, via Associated Press Thanks for joining us this summer as we revisited some of the 200,000 memorable lives featured in The New York Times’s archive.

We wandered back into a fatal Alaskan odyssey and over the rainbow.

Mc Candless’s story from an editor at Outside magazine who had read the Associated Press piece. He deserted his family and a privileged life without looking back. Mc Candless canoed into Mexico, hitchhiked north and worked odd jobs along the way.