Author Christopher Hitchens dies at 62

Christopher Hitchens, author of provocative bestseller God is Not Great, died yesterday at the age of 62

Author Christopher Hitchens dies at 62
17 December 2011

Vocal gay rights supporter and atheist author Christopher Hitchens died yesterday in a hospital in Texas after suffering from pneumonia brought on by a long battle with cancer.

The prolific and public intellectual was known to enjoy his cigarettes and drink (enough to 'kill or stun the average mule') and announced in June 2010 he was being treated for cancer of the oesophagus.

The British-American journalist was a frequent television commentator and contributor to Vanity Fair, Slate and other publications but was arguably best known for his above-mentioned anti-religious novel.

Although twice married and a self-proclaimed heterosexual, Hitchens wrote in his memoirs, Hitch-22 that while studying in Oxford in the 1960s, he occasionally had homosexual 'relapses' with future members of Margaret Thatcher's government.

'Every now and then, even though I was by then fixed on the pursuit of young women, a mild and mildly enjoyable relapse would occur and I suppose that I can "claim" this … of two young men who later became members of Margaret Thatcher's government.

'For this very reason I can't really give any more names,' he wrote.

Hitchens was also admired among the LGBTI community for his alliance with British gay icon, Stephen Fry. During a debate on the BBC in 2009, which he and Fry argued the Church did not stand for good, he remarked: 'The church can apologise too for condemning my friend Stephen Fry, for his nature.'

For the last 18 months, Hitchens had been documenting his life in Vanity Fair. He is survived by his second wife, author Carol Blue, and three children, Sophia, Antonia and Alexander.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Rare case of HIV transmitted through lesbian sex reported in US

There are only a handful of cases of HIV being transmitted between two women, and one has been reported in Houston, Texas
No thumbnail available

This trans porn site is offering to pay for gender reassignment surgeries

'Bruce Jenner’s unwavering courage and bravery inspired' new transition fund
No thumbnail available

Dead Tanzania gay activist was found bound, gagged and beaten

Details of the apparent murder of Maurice Mjomba emerge, along with graphic pictures of his body at his funeral
No thumbnail available

Anti-gay protestors rally against Hong Kong LGBTs

Tens of thousands turned up to support an anti-gay rally in Hong Kong, to show they do not support a government consultation on an gay discrimination law
No thumbnail available

Former college football star Kevin Grayson comes out publicly as gay

Torn ligament dashed NFL hopes but he played last year with Italian Football League
No thumbnail available

Sinners, Repented: Gay insults and apologies

GSN counts down the top 15 anti-LGBT insults, and the apologies that followed  
No thumbnail available

Pennsylvania clerk stops issuing same-sex marriage licenses

A Pennsylvania county clerk who began issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples in July has agreed to stop doing so after being ordered to desist by a judge
No thumbnail available

Sri Lanka’s LGBTIs are hopeful new President will act to protect their rights

Sri Lankan LGBTI rights group Equal Ground hope the incoming government of President Maithripala Sirisena will be more open minded to the needs of sexual minorities and transgender people
REVIEW: De Kas, Amsterdam

REVIEW: De Kas, Amsterdam

A Dutch greenhouse/concept restaurant that will ruin vegetables for you forever – and still it feels understated
No thumbnail available

US evangelists blamed for Uganda’s new anti-gay law

Scott Lively, who refuses to take credit for the anti-gay law, says it is too 'harsh' and says they should have enacted Russia-style gay propganda laws instead