01/08/2012 04:07 BST | Updated 01/08/2012 09:12 BST

Gore Vidal Dies: Author, Playwright And Commentator Dead At 86 (QUOTES + TRIBUTES)

Celebrated author, playwright and commentator Gore Vidal has died at the age of 86, his nephew said on Wednesday.

Burr Steers said Vidal died at his home in Los Angeles' Hollywood Hills at about 6.45pm local time of complications from pneumonia.

Mr Steers said Vidal had been living alone in the home and had been sick for "quite a while".

gore vidal

Gore Vidal was a scourge of the political elite

One of the great men of letters, Vidal could had an acerbic wit and an elegance with language that made him one of the most respected and feared commentators in American life.

He published 25 novels, including his third novel, 1948’s The City And The Pillar, which caused widespread outrage by depicting a young man discovering his own homosexuality. The backlash forced him to spend several years publishing under a pseudonym in order to be successful.

Vidal also published two memoires and wrote scripts for the stage, TV and screen and several volumes of essays.

He was a highly vocal critic of politics, particularly of George W. Bush whom he described as "the stupidest man in the United States.”

Vidal was almost as famed for his quotable wit as Oscar Wilde. Here's a selection of his best lines:

Gore Vidal Quotes

Tributes flooded in for the author on Twitter:

See below for a section of tributes:

Gore Vidal Quotes