Writer and iconoclast, Christopher Hitchens died yesterday at 62. The death was announced by the magazine he has written for since 1992, Vanity Fair, which also put together a fitting video tribute, “The Immortal Rejoinders of Christopher Hitchens.”
Hitchens learned he had esophageal cancer while on tour for his memoir, Hitch-22 (Hachette/Twelve, 2010). Despite his disease, he continued writing, even during his last days. The most recent of his 17 books, a collection of essays, Arguably, (Hachette/Twelve) came out in September.
To those who urged him to embrace religion once he knew he was dying, he retorted,
Suppose there were groups of secularists at hospitals who went round the terminally ill and urged them to adopt atheism: “Don’t be a mug all your life. Make your last days the best ones.” People might suppose this was in poor taste.
The Guardian rounds up the tributes that have been flowing in this morning, including a tweet by Salman Rushdie, “Goodbye, my beloved friend. A great voice falls silent. A great heart stops.”