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Acclaimed writer Gore Vidal dies.

Summary: The writer and political commentator Gore Vidal has died at the age of 86.

The writer and political commentator Gore Vidal has died at the age of 86.

His literary legacy includes 25 novels, several plays and more than 200 essays.

His nephew Burr Steers told the LA Times newspaper that Vidal died on Tuesay at his home in the Hollywood Hills of complications from pneumonia.

Vidal started writing as a 19-year-old soldier stationed in Alaska, basing his first novel Williwaw on his World War Two experiences.

His third book, "The City and the Pillar," created a sensation in 1948 because it was one of the first open portrayals of a gay main character.

In addition to rubbing shoulders with the great writers of his time, he had his differences with many of them.

He said of Ernest Hemingway: "What other culture could have produced someone like Hemingway and not seen the joke?"

Vidal also likened Truman Capote to a "filthy animal that has found its way into the house."

In a 2008 interview with Esquire magazine Vidal said people always seemed impressed that he had met so many famous people, such as Jacqueline Kennedy and William Burroughs.

"People always put that sentence the wrong way around," he said.

"I mean, why not put it the true way - that these people got to meet me, and wanted to?"

Independent Television News Limited 2011. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2012. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Date:Aug 1, 2012
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