Author Gore Vidal died July 31, 2012 of complications from pneumonia. (Charley Gallay/Getty Images)
By Carol Memmott and Bob Minzesheimer, USA TODAY
(USA TODAY) - Gore Vidal, the novelist, essayist and playwright, will be remembered as much for his outspokenness and scorn for popular culture and politics as for his 60-year writing career.
He died Tuesday at age 86.
His nephew, Burr Steers, said Vidal died at his home in the Hollywood Hills of complications from pneumonia. Vidal had been living alone in the home and had been sick for "quite a while," Steers said.
Vidal, whose best sellers included Myra Breckenridge and Burr, was proud to be a political and literary troublemaker.
A half-century ago, he outraged mainstream critics as one of the first major American writers to describe and embrace unambiguous homosexuality.
In 2008, he said, America is "rotting away" - and not to expect President Obama to save it.