1 Aug 2012

Gore Vidal dies aged 86

8:27 pm on 1 August 2012

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

A prolific writer, Vidal produced 25 novels, including the best-selling Burr and Myra Breckenridge, more than 200 essays, and several plays.

He also ran for political office twice and was a well-known commentator.

Along with such contemporaries as Norman Mailer and Truman Capote, Gore Vidal was among a generation of literary writers who were also genuine celebrities - fixtures on talk shows and in gossip columns.

He wrote his first book aged only 19 and later went on to become one of America's most distinguished authors, although he was not always comfortable with the literary and political establishment.

The Los Angeles Times says he died on Wednesday of pneumonia complications at his home in Hollywood Hills.