Controversial British writer Christopher Hitchens, 62, who wrote frequently for magzines, published essays and appeared on television to give his insightful and witty commentary on a wide range or topics, died Thursday at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston after a battle with esophageal cancer, Vanity Fair reports.

Hitchens' most recent book— his eleventh — was called Hitch-22 and published in spring 2010. As a public intellectual Hitchens often held controversial and challenging opinions; he described himself as an "internationalist socialist" but also supported the war in Iraq, according to EW.com. A staunch opponent of organized religion and Christianity, Hitchens published a book called God Is Not Great in 2007.

A Royal Navy brat who was educated at Oxford, Hitchens leaves behind three children — Alexander, Sophia, and Antonia — and many famous friends, including Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan, Richard Dawkins, James Fenton and Christopher Buckley.

Buckley said that his late friend was a prodigious talent who touched many people. "Yes, everything he said was brilliant," Buckley wrote in the New Yorker. "It was a feast of reason and a flow of soul, and, if the author of God Is Not Great did not himself believe in the concept of soul, he sure had one, and it was a great soul."

Watch a clip of some of Hitchens' televised appearances here:

2 Comments

  • EmmaHickey
    EmmaHickey on

    A great loss

  • A Grinshpan
    A Grinshpan on

    A controversial and free-thinker – that is a loss. R.I.P. Hitchens

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