August 1st, 2012 by faye
Gore Vidal, a well-known author, playwright, essayist, screenwriter and political activist passed away already due to complications from pneumonia. He was 86.
According to Burr Steers, the author’s nephew, Gore Vidal died at his Los Angeles home on Tuesday evening because of pneumonia complications. He was also suffering from heart ailments.
Vidal, who was widely celebrated as one of United States’ greatest man of letters, used to be a high-profile commentator on politics — which included his strong and bitter opposition towards the war in the country of Iraq.
Born into politics as a member of a wealthy and powerful family, author Gore Vidal joined the Navy when he was 17 years old before dazzling the world by writing one of the first novels which included an openly gay character: his 1984 work called “The City and the Pillar.” Since that time, Vidal authored five plays, 24 novels, several screenplays, more than 200 essays and the memoir “Palimpsest.” His essay collection, “United States: Essays, 1952-1992” won the National Book Award in 1993.
Gore Vidal also had an appearance in a number of films, including the political satire “Bob Roberts” where he played the role of a United States senator.
Author Vidal ran for office back in 1960, calling for recognition of Communist China, and later made a Senate bid in 1982, which then became the subject of a documentary.
During a CNN interview in 2007, author Gore Vidal said, “I’ve had hard targets in my lifetime. I’ve taken on general superstitions, but that’s what writers do. So I certainly, wouldn’t have changed my modus vivendi one bit.”
Vidal would say he was a once-famous novelist who was assigned to go on television because people “seldom read anymore.”
“All these literary prizes should go to the readers: ‘Nobel Prize for the best reader in Milwaukee.’ And you know, we must honor them because they are so few,” author Gore Vidal said in the same CNN interview.
During the later stages of his life, Gore Vidal appeared frequently on the television talk show circuit, going head to head with people who have opposing viewpoints, and gave as good as he got. In one live TV debate, author and journalist William F. Buckley Jr. called Vidal famously as “queer.”
“Well, I mean I won the debates, there was no question of that,” Vidal recounted. “They took polls, it was ABC Television… And because I’m a writer, people think that I’m this poor little fragile thing. I’m not poor and fragile. … And anybody who insults me is going to get it right back.”
The author also voiced himself on the animated show “The Simpsons.”