How to pronounce Gore Vidal: gore (hard g) vi-DAHL
During Gore Vidal's six decade career he wrote many novels, essays, television plays and film scripts. He authored around 30 novels, eight 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.
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, after which he spent most of his time living in Los Angeles. In 2005, his life partner Howard Austen died and was followed by Vidal in July 2012.
This bio was last updated on 07/03/2016. We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's a tough task. So, please help us - if the information about a particular author is out of date or inaccurate, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors: If you wish to make changes to your bio, send your complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.
Discover your next great read here
The good writer, the great writer, has what I have called the three S's: The power to see, to sense, and to say
Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.
Your guide toexceptional books
BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.