The Madeleine Brand Show for August 1, 2012

David Kipen remembers Gore Vidal

MOCA NEW 30th Anniversary Gala - Red Carpet

Charley Gallay/Getty Images for MOCA

Author Gore Vidal attends the MOCA NEW 30th anniversary gala held at MOCA on November 14, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Vidal died Tuesday of complications from pneumonia.

A titan of the American literary scene has died. Gore Vidal passed away at his Hollywood Hills home Tuesday at the age of 86.

His prolific body of work ran from fiction to political commentaries, plays and even Hollywood screenplays. But Vidal was more than a writer, he was a public figure.

He was known as a provocateur who delivered jabs with a cool, whithering wit. "I'm exactly as I appear. There is no warm, lovable person inside. Beneath my cold exterior, once you break the ice, you find cold water," Vidal once said.

He was a fixture on talk shows in the 60s and 70s and more recently he even made appearances on the Simpsons and The Family Guy.

Gore Vidal argues with Norman Mailer on the Dick Cavett Show:

Gore Vidal argues with William F. Buckley in 1968:


David Kipen, book critic and founder of the book store and lending library Libros Schmibros in Boyle Heights, a short walk from the Metro Gold Line.

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