Author, playwright, politician and acerbic commentator on public culture Gore Vidal died Tuesday at age 86 in Los Angeles.
Whatta force he was. During his lifetime, he wrote 8 plays, 26 novels, 14 screenplays, and countless essays. His awards included the National Book Award in 1993 for United States: Essays 1952-1992 and the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism in 1982 for The Second American Revolution and Other Essays. In November 2009, when he received a lifetime achievement award at the National Book Awards, Vidal was introduced by Newman’s widow, actress Joanne Woodward. She recalled what Vidal said when he became the godfather of Woodward’s and Paul Newman’s first child: “Always a godfather, never a god.”
Critic Adam Goodheart wrote that Vidal was “ironic, cosmopolitan, erudite, a sexual non-conformist with a superbly honed sense of envy who needs to be both gate-crasher and guest of honor at every party.” May he Rest In Peace.