Gore Vidal: gore (hard g) vi-DAHL
During Gore Vidal's six decade career he has written many novels, essays,
television plays and film scripts. He was born Eugene Luther Gore Vidal in
1925 at the United States Military Academy at West Point where his father, Gene
Vidal, was an aeronautics instructor. As a teenager he adopted the first
name of Gore. His parents divorced in 1935, and his mother married Hugh
Auchincloss, hence Gore Vidal acquired a stepfather in common with Jacqueline
Kennedy. He spent much of his childhood in Washington with his blind
grandfather, Senator Thomas Pryor Gore of Oklahoma from whom Vidal learned the
ins and outs of political life. After graduating from Phillips Exeter
Academy in New Hampshire, where he was considered a mediocre student, he joined
the United States Army Reserve Corps and served on army transports in the
Aleutian Islands in World War II.
His first novel, Williwaw, written when he was nineteen years old and serving in the Army, appeared in the spring of 1946. It was was based on his wartime experiences as first mate on Freight Ship 35 in the Alaskan Harbour Craft Detachment, and included an openly gay character. The book's success was helped by Eleanor Roosevelt' support in her influential newspaper column.
Over the following years Vidal published a number of novels in his own name including The City and the Pillar in 1948, which created controversy as the first major American novel to feature unambiguous homosexuality. He also wrote a number of novels using the pseudonyms Katherine Everard, Cameron Kay and Edgar Box (detective books).
He ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1960 and then returned to writing. He published Julian in 1964, and then a trilogy of novels set in Washington, DC, followed by a number of stand-alone novels. His most famous novel is Myra Breckinridge (1968), a transsexual comedy parodying the cult of the Hollywood film star, dedicated to Christopher Isherwood. A sequel, Myron, was published in 1974.
In 1972 he moved to Ravello on the Italian Amalfi coast. In 1982 he launched campaign in California for the US senate, and came in second out of a field of nine.
He sold his home in Ravello in 2003 and now spends most of his time living in Los Angeles. In 2005, his life partner Howard Austen died. He is the author of twenty-two novels, five plays, many screenplays, more than two hundred essays and a memoir - Palimpsest, which was published in 1995 and focused on his boyhood love, Jimmie Trimble, who was killed at Iwo Jima.
This biography was last updated on 07/25/2011.
A note about the biographies
We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate. However, with over 2500 lives to keep track of it's inevitable that some won't be as current or as complete as we would like. So, please help us - if the information about a particular author is out of date, inaccurate or simply very short, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors and those connected with authors: If you wish to make changes to your bio, please send your complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.
Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!
Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only
Southern Gothic fantasy with a contemporary flare set in Savannah
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.
Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.