London, August 1(ANI): Celebrated writer and political commentator Gore Vidal died in his Los Angles home on Tuesday evening. He was 86.
According to reports, the cause of death was complications from pneumonia, the BBC reported.
He produced 25 novels, including the best-selling ‘Burr’ and ‘Myra Breckenridge,’ and more than 200 essays and several plays.
He twice ran for political office and was a well-known commentator.
His nephew Burr Steers stated that his uncle had been ill “for quite a while.”
Vidal was among a generation of the literary writers who were also genuine celebrities – fixtures on chat shows and in the gossip columns.
His circle included people like Tennessee Williams, Orson Welles and Frank Sinatra.
And he was also closely linked to the Kennedy family, becoming a confidant of Jackie Kennedy, who was his stepsister.
He ran for a seat in Congress in 1960 and again in 1982, but lost both the times.
He wrote his first book as a 19-year-old, and later went on to become one of America’s most distinguished authors.
But Vidal’s career path was not straightforward. His second book, ‘The City and the Pillar,’ tackled homosexuality, making it a highly controversial novel at that time.
Bookshops refused to stock the novel, and he was ostracised for most of the 1950s and forced to work under pseudonyms.
In the late 50s he began to write under his own name again, working on the screenplay of ‘Ben Hur,’ among other films.
Eventually in the 1970s and 80s he was widely feted for his historical novels that were based on the lives of US figures like Abraham Lincoln.
But Vidal was not always comfortable with the literary and political establishment.
He had long-running fights with his contemporaries, conservative pundit William F Buckley Jr and writer Norman Mailer, whom Vidal once likened to killer Charles Manson.
His feud with Buckley was legendary, with the pair coming to blows several times and trading insults on national tv while they were working as pundits on the 1968 Democratic convention.
He had once described author Truman Capote as a “filthy animal that has found its way into the house.”
Born in 1925, Eugene Luther Vidal was the scion of one of America’s grandest political families.
His grandfather, TP Gore, had been a senator and his dad was a one-time Secretary of Aviation under President Franklin D Roosevelt.
Vidal was also a distant cousin of former Vice President Al Gore.
He took his mom’s maiden name Gore and started using it as his first name. (ANI)
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Submited at Wednesday, August 1st, 2012 at 12:45 pm on gossip by madison
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