Terry Southern (1 May 1924 – 29 October 1995) was an American author, essayist, screenwriter, and university lecturer, noted for his distinctive satirical style. Part of the Paris postwar literary movement in the 1950s and a companion to Beat writers in Greenwich Village, Southern was also at the center of Swinging London in the 1960s and helped to change the style and substance of American films in the 1970s. In the 1980s he wrote for Saturday Night Live and lectured on screenwriting at several universities in New York.
Southern's dark and often absurdist style of satire helped to define the sensibilities of several generations of writers, readers, directors and film goers. He is credited by journalist Tom Wolfe as having invented New Journalism with the publication of "Twirling at Ole Miss" in Esquire in 1962, and his gift for writing memorable film dialogue was evident in Dr. Strangelove, The Loved One, The Cincinnati Kid, Easy Rider, and The Magic Christian. His work on Easy Rider helped create the independent film movement of the 1970s.