Gore Vidal was one of America's greatest authors, playwrights and political commentators, yes - but also in his day one of the country's foremost intellectual heartthrobs.
The steel jaw, brooding eyes and patrician glower of his youth melted the hearts of men and women alike - including actress Diana Lynn, the author Anaïs Nin (though he'd later deny it) and Beat movement pin up Jack Kerouac.
"I represent: sex, wealth and talent," he once said. To a great many people this was true - over 1,000 in fact, if his claims about how many people he slept with were true.
And so, on the day the the world pauses to bid farewell to one of the biggest talents and even bigger egos in the history of American writing, we thought it appropriate to remember Gore Vidal as he no doubt saw himself right until the end: young, formidable, and capable of conquering whatever - or whoever - he damn pleased...
Gore Vidal IMAGE: Getty
Gore Vidal at age 23, November 14, 1948, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GoreVidalVanVechten1.jpg" target="_hplink">via Wikipedia</a>
Gore Vidal - 1960s IMAGE: Rex Features
In this Dec. 9, 1974 file photo, author Gore Vidal tosses barbs in all directions as he discusses Hollywood unions, politics, lecturing and publicizing books during an interview in Los Angeles. IMAGE: GB/AP/Press Association Images
Gore Vidal sits on the lawn of his Hudson River mansion in Tarrytown, N.Y., Aug. 18, 1960. IMAGE: AP/Press Association Images
William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal, 15 Oct 1968 IMAGE: Rex Features