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Christopher Hitchens dies aged 62

16th December 2011

Journalist and writer Christopher Hitchens has died at the age of 62 after a battle with oesophageal cancer.

Hitchens, who wrote for the New Statesman and Vanity Fair, was famous for his outspoken left-wing commentary and made many enemies as well as friends during his career.

He also published several books, including the anti-religious polemic God is Not Great in 2007 and his acclaimed memoir Hitch 22 last year, though it was the former that gained the most attention due to its controversial subject matter.

In it, Hitchens argued that religion is 'violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism and tribalism and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry', with the book going on to sell more than 500,000 copies.

He was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer last year but refused to let it affect his views, saying that ditching the principles he has held for a lifetime in the hope of gaining favour at the last minute would be 'a hucksterish choice'.

Following his death, Vanity Fair issued a memorial piece which described him as 'a master of the stunning line and the biting quip'.

Graydon Carter, editor of the magazine, added: 'There will never be another like Christopher. A man of ferocious intellect, who was as vibrant on the page as he was at the bar. Those who read him felt they knew him and those who knew him were profoundly fortunate souls.'

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