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Gore Vidal

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Gore Vidal
Gore Vidal was an American writer known for his essays, novels, screenplays, and Broadway plays. As a well-known public intellectual, he was known for his patrician manner and witty aphorisms.









Full Name Eugene Louis Luther Gore Vidal
Who Writer
Birth Date October 3, 1925
Death Date July 31, 2012
Country United States
Born West Point, New York, USA
Died Los Angeles, California, USA
Cause of Death pneumonia
Education Virginia Military Institute
Father Eugene Vidal
Mother Nina Gore
Siblings

Valerie Vidal

Thomas Gore Auchincloss

Nina Auchincloss Steers

Vance Vidal

Children n/a

Connections

Vidal was the grandson of Thomas Gore. Though Vidal denied that he was named after his grandfather, he credited him as being greatly influential in his life.

Vidal was the fifth cousin of Jimmy Carter, and the seventh cousin of Al Gore. He was invited to meet Gore, but took delight in declining the invitation, due to his hatred for the Bush administration.

Vidal knew Amelia Earhart as a child, due to his father being in a relationship with her. Vidal found in his father's girlfriend a mutual appreciator of poetry. Earhart even spoke to Vidal before her infamous last voyage, confiding in him that she was worried about flying over Africa. 

Vidal's father wasn't the only one in a relationship with a glamorous celebrity - Vidal's mother was also later in a long relationship with Clark Gable.

Through his mother's later second marriage, Vidal was the stepson of Hugh D. Auchincloss, who was in turn later the stepfather of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. When his mother later married a third time, Vidal again became stepson to Robert Olds. 

Vidal is the uncle of Burr Steers. Steers and Vidal remained farily close throughout his life, and in Vidal's later years, Steers helped to care for him. However, upon Vidal's death, he left his $37 million fortune entirely to Harvard University, which he hadn't attended, and left nothing to Steers or any other relative. Steers then contested the will and announced to lawyers and the tabloids that Vidal had been a pedophile. 

Vidal was known for having an impressive roster of powerful, famous friends. Among them were Italo Calvino, Joanne Woodward, John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy, Federico Fellini, Mick Jagger, Tennessee Williams, Mikhail Gorbachev, Andre Gide, Lauren Bacall, Gordon "Sting" Sumner, Trudy Styler, Christopher Isherwood, Paul Newman, George Plimpton, Leonard Bernstein, Rudolph Nureyev, Matt Tyrenauer, and more.

John Knowles was one of Vidal's classmates in high school. Vidal made a lasting impression on Knowles as a know-it-all conspiracy theorist, and he later included him as such a character, Brinker Hadley, in his book A Seperate Peace

Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, was one of Vidal's closest friends, and the two adored each other. They remained close for decades.

One of the most famous literary feuds in history was the bitter feud between Vidal and Truman Capote. The two men viciously hated each other, and both had strong wills and particular venom. Mutual friends did their best to stay out of the two men's way. Capote announced in 1975 that Vidal had behaved disgracefully at a White House dinner party, saying that he had been thrown out for being drunk, had put his arm around Jacqueline Kennedy and had insulted her mother. In response, Vidal sued Capote for slander.

Vidal was an acquaintance of Huey Long, and later in an interview revealed that Long had been his favorite U.S. politician.

Vidal's feud with Capote was not his only one. In 1968, ABC hired two men to report on and analyze the presidential election. Of course, one man was Liberal, the other Conservative. Vidal was the liberal, and in turn the conservative was William F. Buckley Jr. But Buckley and Vidal did not get along, and the longer they worked together, the worse things got. Buckley ended up threatening Vidal with physical violence, and Vidal also called Buckley a "crypto-Nazi," to which the other man responded by calling him a "queer," all while airing on live television. Buckley later stated that he regretted using a gay slur, but accused Vidal of being apologetic of his homosexuality. In an interview later, Vidal said that Buckley was racist, anti-semitic, and a "warmonger," prompting Buckley to sue Vidal for libel. The feud did not end there: shortly after, Vidal accused Buckley and his family of vandalizing a local church after the pastor sold a house to a Jewish family. Buckley again sued Vidal, and stated that Vidal's writing was pornographic - which Vidal also tried to sue Buckley for. When Buckley died in 2008, Vidal was delighted, an wrote an obituary titled "RIP WFB - in Hell." When asked by a journalist how he had felt when he had heard the news of Buckley's death, he responded "Hell is bound to be a livelier place."

Another man that Vidal did not get along with was Norman Mailer. The two had a famous argument in 1971, while recording a talk show appearance. Vidal referred to Mailer having stabbed his wife, which Mailer took great offence to, and head-butted Vidal. When asked why, Vidal sneered "Once again, words failed Norman Mailer." Mailer then insulted Vidal's books, saying "I've had to smell your works from time to time." Years later, the two men made up.

Despite a close relationship with the Kennedy family, Vidal sometimes clashed with Robert F. Kennedy, who seemed to know how to push Vidal's buttons. Vidal, ever one to rise to the occasion, also knew how to get under Kennedy's skin - insinuating abuse of power. However, somehow, the two men remained cordial to each other and never fought all that seriously, perhaps due to Vidal's knowledge of what powerful and impressive friends the Kennedys made.

Due to his good looks, famous wit, winning charm, and propensity to stir up controversy and excitement, Vidal was popular with talk show hosts. Johnny Carson enjoyed having Vidal on his show, The Tonight Show, so much that he offered him a spot as a guest host, and Vidal made regular appearances. Vidal and Carson became close, and Carson even went to stay at Vidal's villa in Italy.

Impressively, Vidal actually appeared on The Tonight Show even before Carson did - meeting and talking with Jack Paar, who was the host from 1957 - 1962.

Vidal was a friend of the Clinton family, including Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Chelsea Clinton. There was a photo of Vidal with Hillary and Chelsea in his Italian home, where they visited him in the 1990's.

Howard K. Smith was Vidal's boss when he worked for ABC briefly in 1968.

Vidal was an acquaintance of Lee Radziwill, the younger sister of Jacqueline Kennedy. During Vidal and Capote's feud, in 1975, Capote claimed that at a White House dinner party, Vidal had acted disgracefully. Vidal then attempted to sue Capote for saying this, and Capote asked Radziwill to testify against Vidal on his behalf. She agreed, but later refused to follow through. Rather than basing this upon any sort of friendship with Vidal, however, it was actually because she simply couldn't be bothered. She told a reporter, "Oh, what do we care? They're just a couple of fags. They're disgusting."

Vidal was a close friend of Eleanor Roosevelt, who supported him when he ran for Congress in 1960. They met due to her being his former neighbor.

Vidal was a lover of Anais Nin at age 20, despite being 22 years younger than her. They shared a brief, passionate relationship, which Nin broke off after recognizing herself as the shrewish character Maria in Vidal's novel The City and the Pillar. In his memoir Palimpsest, Vidal denied ever having any relationship with Nin, but this was disproven years later, when it was discovered that Nin had kept the love letters that he had written to her.

Vidal was an acquaintance of Janet Flanner.

In 1982, Vidal campaigned against Jerry Brown to become Governor of California, but lost the election.

Vidal wrote a letter to Helmut Kohl in 1997, opposing the treatment of scientologists in Germany. Vidal stood up for them, even though he made no secret of his distaste for scientology. 

Vidal was an outspoken opposer of George W. Bush, and even called him "the stupidest man in the United States." In a public speech, he said of the conspiracy theories about September 11th, that he believed Bush and his administration to actually be too stupid to even pull off such a massive secret attack themselves, but that he did believe it was entirely possible that they purposely ignored the threat and "went out to lunch." He conclusively stated, on this theory, "I believe that of them." Shortly after, he joined a political association against Bush, and then advocated for Bush's impeachment.

Vidal met Kevin Spacey in 2008, when he made a guest appearance in the movie Shrink

Vidal was an acquaintance of Roman Polanski, and apparently did not let Polanski's statutory rape of a thirteen year old girl bother him. When asked about it in an interview, Vidal stated that he didn't care about what Polanski had done, and called the victim a "hooker," and opining that she had simply "felt taken advantage of." He also claimed that Polanski had been accused of his actions because of anti-semitism, and that his identity as a Jew had obscured opinions, which had been different back in 1979. 


Places

West Point, New York, USA - Born here, 1925.

Los Angeles, California, USA - Traveled here, 1928. Lived here briefly, 1961 - 1962. Lived here, 2005 - 2012. Died here, 2012.

Washington D.C., USA - Grew up here, 1933 - 1940. Lived here, 1944 - see.

Fairfax, Virginia, USA - Lived here, 1935 - 1936.

Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA - Briefly attended school here, 1940.

Exeter, New Hampshire, USA - Attended school here, 1940 - 1942.

Lexington, Virginia, USA - Attended military university here, 1942 - 1944.

Unalaska, Alaska, USA - Served in navy here, 1944.

New York, New York, USA - Lived here, about 1949 - about 1961.

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA - Lectured here, 1949 and others.

Rome, Italy - Lived here, 1962 - 1968. Was often here.

Bangkok, Thailand - Visited here a few times, around 1965.

Ravello, Italy - Lived here, about 1972 - 2005.

Dublin, Ireland - Visited here, 1999.


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