Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal

Author: Gore Vidal

Profile: Gore Vidal was an American writer, essayist, novelist, actor, screenwriter, playwright and public intellectual. He was also known by other names like Eugene Luther Vidal Jr. He was an openly bisexual author. LGBT characters are often dealt with in his novels which was very uncommon during his time. He was deeply involved in politics, beyond literature. Numerous other playwrights, essayists, poets, novelists and writers influenced the literary works of Gore Vidal.


Gore Vidal was born in West Point, New York, United States and died in Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, California, United States. He completed his education at Phillips Exeter Academy. He is well known for his movie, The United States of Amnesia and his plays, Weekend, The Best Man and A Visit to A Small Planet. His most notable works include The City and the Pillar, Julian, Myra Breckinridge, Burr and Lincoln.


He participated actively in the Democratic People’s Party as an affiliated non-member. He sought office twice as candidate of the Democratic Party but was not successful, first to the United States House of Representatives (for New York) in 1960 and later to the U.S. Senate (for California) in 1982.

Gore Vidal came from an upper class political family. Being an essayist and political commentator, his main focus was the United State society and history, especially how the nation is reduced to a decadent empire due to a militaristic foreign policy. Vidal’s cultural and political essays were published in a number of magazines including Esquire, The Nation, New York Review of Books and the New Statesman. Being a public intellectual he debated occasionally with other writers and intellectuals on topics related to religion, politics and sex which turned into quarrels especially with likes of Norman Mailer and William F. Buckley Jr.


Writing style: Gore Vidal was popularly known for his polished writing style, patrician manner and epigrammatic wit.

Published Texts:

1948 – The City and the Pillar

1964 – Julian

1968 – Myra Breckinridge

1973 – Burr

1984 – Lincoln


Awards and Acknowledgements:

1993 – Won the National Book Award for Nonfiction for the anthology United States: Essays 1952-02 (1993)

2009 – Won the annual Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation which called him a ‘prominent social critic on culture, literature, history and politics’

2009 – Named honorary president of the American Humanist Association


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