One of Washington’s most revered writers, Vanity Fair‘s Christopher Hitchens, has died. He spent much of the week surrounded by family and loved ones at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Washington media outlets have been preparing for the news. Hitchens is survived by his wife, Carol Blue, and their daughter, Antonia, and his children from a previous marriage, Alexander and Sophia. He was 62.
Vanity Fair announced the news just before midnight Thursday:
It is with tremendous sadness that Vanity Fair announces the death of our contributing editor and dear friend Christopher Hitchens. Christopher died today from pneumonia, a complication of esophageal cancer, at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
“There will never be another like Christopher. A man of ferocious intellect, who was as vibrant on the page as he was at the bar,” said Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter. “Those who read him felt they knew him, and those who knew him were profoundly fortunate souls.”
See the CBS “60 Minutes” interview with Hitchens from earlier in the year.
June 4, 2010: The Original Announcement: “I have been advised by my physician that I must undergo a course of chemotherapy on my esophagus. This advice seems persuasive to me. I regret having had to cancel so many engagements at such short notice.” See here.
His final interview with Richard Dawkins.
From Vanity Fair: Christopher Hitchens was born in Portsmouth, England, in 1949, graduated from Oxford University in 1970, and landed at Vanity Fair as a contributing editor in November 1992. His monthly column provided profound insight and amusement to millions of readers as it raised hackles and won many devoted admirers with its singular rhetoric and unconventional arguments. Christopher was a master of the stunning line and the biting quip, and he had few equals in the sphere of commentary, let alone social life. This year he won the National Magazine Award for Columns and Commentary. Throughout his career Christopher wrote for The New Statesman, the London Evening Standard, London’s Daily Express, The Nation, Harper’s, The Spectator, The Times Literary Supplement, New York Newsday, The Atlantic, and Slate, among other publications. Christopher was the author of 17 books, including The Trial of Henry Kissinger (Verso, 2001), god is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (Twelve, 2007), and a memoir, Hitch-22 (Twelve, 2010). Arguably (Twelve, 2011), a collection of his essays, was released this fall.