Celebrated author and playwright Gore
Vidal died Tuesday in his Hollywood Hills, California home. He was
Vidal was preceded in death by his
partner of 53 years, Howard Austen, and will be buried next to him in
a cemetery in Washington D.C.
According to the Los Angeles Times,
Vidal died of complications from pneumonia. His nephew, Burr Steers,
said he had been living alone and had been sick for “quite a
The prolific Vidal wrote more than 25
novels, 25 works of non-fiction, 15 screenplays and 10 plays. His
political play, The Best Man, is currently playing on
He had affairs with both men and women,
including a brief engagement to Joanne Woodward, before she married
“It's easy to sustain a relationship
when sex plays no part and impossible, I have observed, when it
does,” Vidal wrote of this lengthy relationship with Austen, whom
he met in 1950.
His third book, The City and the
Pillar (1948), is credited for being the first American novel to
include an honest and positive portrayal of gay love and earned him
fame. But Vidal bristled at being labeled gay, saying there were
only homosexual acts, not persons.