Gore Vidal (3 October 1925 - 31 July 2012)
Gore Vidal, the iconoclastic American writer, playwright and political activist, died yesterday aged 86. The son of a US army lieutenant, he was born at West Point military academy in New York. He penned his first novel at 19, then went on to a long and distinguished literary career. His third novel, The City and the Pillar, portrayed a young gay man who was both masculine and normal - published in 1948 this whipped up considerable Bible Belt furore.
Vidal's words were characterised by acerbic wit and fearless anti-establishment broadsides. He ran for political office twice. He is regarded as one of America's last great 'men of letters'; his writing continues to celebrate language and goad the political establishment.
Quotes by Gore Vidal:
"Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."
"Andy Warhol is the only genius I've ever known with an I.Q. of 60."
"As the age of television progresses the Reagans will be the rule, not the exception. To be perfect for television is all a President has to be these days."
"By the time a man gets to be presidential material, he's been bought ten times over."
"Democracy is supposed to give you the feeling of choice, like Painkiller X and Painkiller Y. But they're both just aspirin."
"Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half."
"I'm all for bringing back the birch, but only between consenting adults."