Religion

Christopher Hitchens Has Died at Age 62

| by Michael Allen

Christopher Hitchens, outspoken writer and atheist, died today at the age of 62. The English-born writer was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in the spring of 2010, just after the publication of his memoir, 'Hitch-22,' and began chemotherapy soon after.

Hitchens skewered public figures with a devastating wit. He called Henry Kissinger a "war criminal," savaged Mother Teresa and Princess Diana, ridiculed both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.

Hitchens wrote essays for Vanity Fair, the Nation, the Atlantic, Slate.com and many other publications, famously, without missing a deadline.

Besides his political essays, Hitchens also wrote about literary subjects: Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, P.G. Wodehouse and Philip Roth.

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Earlier this year, Hitchens was given the Richard Dawkins Award by Dawkins himself for his steadfast belief in atheism.

“My chief consolation in this year of living dyingly has been the presence of friends,” Hitchens wrote in the June 2011 issue of Vanity Fair. He died in their presence at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.