Aug. 1 - Writer Gore Vidal dies at home in Hollywood at the age of 86. Travis Brecher reports.
Writer Gore Vidal, who filled his intellectual work with acerbic observations on politics, sex and American culture while carrying on feuds with his big-name literary rivals, has died at the age of 86. Vidal's literary legacy includes a series of historical novels, such as "Burr", "1876", "Lincoln", and "The Golden Age", as well as the campy transsexual comedy "Myra Breckenridge". His third book, "The City and the Pillar", created a sensation in 1948 because it was one of the first open portrayals of a homosexual main character. Vidal referred to himself as a "gentleman bitch", and was as egotistical and caustic as he was elegant and brilliant. He famously considered Ernest Hemingway a joke, and compared Truman Capote to a "filthy animal that has found its way into the house". His most famous literary enemies were conservative pundit William F. Buckley and writer Norman Mailer, who once headbutted Vidal before a television appearance. Vidal spent much of his life at an Italian seaside villa, having described the United States as "the land of the dull and the home of the literal". Travis Brecher, Reuters