Today is the 89th birthday of Gore Vidal, the man that quipped:
“Fifty percent of people won’t vote, and fifty percent don’t read newspapers. I hope it’s the same fifty percent.”
NAME: Eugene Luther Gore Vidal
OCCUPATION: Critic, Author, Playwright
BIRTH DATE: October 03, 1925
DEATH DATE: July 31, 2012
EDUCATION: St. Albans School, Los Alamos Ranch School
PLACE OF BIRTH: West Point, New York
PLACE OF DEATH: Hollywood Hills, California
Best Known For: Gore Vidal is best known as a prolific American writer, but is also famous for frequent talk-show appearances and witty political criticisms.
“A good deed never goes unpunished.”
He’s well known for his works of historical fiction — such as Julian (1964), Burr (1973), and Lincoln (1984). And his 1968 novel Myra Breckenridge, a satire about a transsexual, was an international best-seller. The New York Times called it “witty”; the reviewer also called it “repulsive” and “a funny novel, but it requires an iron stomach.” Vidal carried a grudge against the Times for the rest of his life.
“A narcissist is someone better looking than you are.”
In the mid-1950s he branched out even further, writing a series of potboiler mysteries under the pen name “Edgar Box.” He also produced 20 dramas and literary adaptations for television. He adapted one of his original teleplays, Visit to a Small Planet (1955), for the stage, and it became a hit on Broadway; he also wrote several original and adapted screenplays in Hollywood. Near the end of his life, he announced that he’d given up the long-form novel, preferring to focus on nonfiction. He wrote two memoirs (Palimpsest in 1995 and Point to Point Navigation in 2006), and several book-length essays on American history and politics.
Vidal died of pneumonia two months ago, at the age of 86. His old sparring partner The New York Times published a long obituary in his honor, but it contained three errors that required correction.
And this is why you should like him: