Gore Vidal, one of the most prolific gay names of modern times, passed away at the age of 86 after suffering complications with pneumonia. He will be buried next to his partner in Washington, D.C.
The L.A. Times reports:
Vidal died Tuesday at his home in the Hollywood Hills of complications of pneumonia, said nephew Burr Steers. Vidal was a literary juggernaut who wrote 25 novels, including historical works such as “Lincoln” and “Burr” and satires such as “Myra Breckinridge” and “Duluth.” He was also a prolific essayist whose pieces on politics, sexuality, religion and literature -- once described as “elegantly sustained demolition derbies” -- both delighted and inflamed and in 1993 earned him a National Book Award for his massive “United States Essays, 1952-1992.”
Threaded throughout his pieces are anecdotes about his famous friends and foes, who included Anais Nin, Tennessee Williams, Christopher Isherwood, Orson Welles, Truman Capote, Frank Sinatra, Jack Kerouac, Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Eleanor Roosevelt and a variety of Kennedys. He counted Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Al Gore among his relatives. He also wrote Broadway hits, screenplays, television dramas and a trio of mysteries under a pseudonym that remain in print after 50 years.
Vidal was one of the first public persons to live his life openly as a gay man and certainly paved the road for the modern gay movement.