Gore Vidal (2009)
|Born||Eugene Louis Vidal
3 October 1925
West Point, New York, U.S.
|Died||31 July 2012
Hollywood Hills, California, U.S.
|Other names||Eugene Luther Vidal, Jr.|
|Occupation||Writer (novelist, essayist, playwright, etc.)|
|Known for||Julian (1964)|
|U.S. Democratic Party|
|Partner(s)||Howard Austen (1950–2003; Austen's death)|
|Parents||Eugene Luther Vidal, Nina Gore|
Gore Vidal (/ /; born Eugene Louis Vidal, 3 October 1925 – 31 July 2012) was an American writer (novels, essays, screenplays, stage plays) and a public intellectual, who was known for his patrician manner, wit, and aphorisms. Vidal was born to a political family; his grandfather was Thomas Gore, U.S. Senator for Oklahoma (1907–21, 1931–37). As a member of the Democratic Party, Vidal twice ran for political office.
As as political commentator, Vidal's subject was the United States, especially the imperialistic foreign policy, which reduced the U.S. to a decaying empire. His essays were published in The Nation, the New Statesman, the New York Review of Books and Esquire. As a public intellectual, Gore Vidal was known for his continual quarrels with other public intellectuals and writers, such as William F. Buckley, Jr., Norman Mailer, and Truman Capote.
Of his fiction, Myra Breckinridge (1968) was a widely regarded novel of social mores; in the historical novel genre, Julian (1964), Burr (1973), and Lincoln (1984) are considered his best works. His third novel, The City and the Pillar (1948), offended the sensibilities of conservative critics (literary and political), because it featured unambiguous presentations of male homosexuality. Personally, Gore Vidal rejected the terms “homosexual” and “heterosexual” as inherently false labels, because he believed that men and women potentially are pansexual.
- 1 Early life
- 2 The Writer
- 3 The Public Intellectual
- 4 Actor & pop-culture figure
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Legacy
- 7 Bibliography
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Gore Vidal was born Eugene Louis Vidal in West Point, New York, the only child of Eugene Luther Vidal (1895–1969) and Nina Gore (1903–1978). The middle name, Louis, was a mistake on the part of his father, "who could not remember, for certain, whether his own name was Eugene Louis or Eugene Luther." In the memoir Palimpsest (1995), Vidal said, "my birth certificate says 'Eugene Louis Vidal': this was changed to Eugene Luther Vidal, Jr.; then Gore was added at my christening [in 1939]; then, at fourteen, I got rid of the first two names."
Vidal was born in the Cadet Hospital at West Point, the United States Military Academy, where his father, a first lieutenant, was the academy's first aeronautics instructor. Conversations with Gore Vidal (2005), records that Eugene Luther Vidal was not baptised until January 1939, at the age of 13 years, by the headmaster of St. Albans school, where Vidal attended preparatory school. The baptismal ceremony was effected so that he "could be confirmed [into the Episcopal faith] at the Washington Cathedral, in February  as “Eugene Luther Gore Vidal”. He later said that, although the surname “Gore” was added to his names at the time of the baptism, "I wasn't named for him [maternal grandfather Thomas Gore], although he had a great influence on my life." In 1941, Vidal dropped his two first-names, because he “wanted a sharp, distinctive name, appropriate for an aspiring author, or a national political leader . . . I wasn't going to write as ‘Gene’ since there was already one. I didn't want to use the ‘Jr.’ ”. 
Vidal's father, Eugene Luther Vidal, Sr., was director (1933–1937) of the Commerce Department's Bureau of Air Commerce during the Roosevelt Administration, one of the first Army Air Corps pilots, and also was the great love of the aviatrix Amelia Earhart. In the 1920s and the 1930s, Vidal Sr. co-founded three airline companies and a railroad line; (i) the Ludington Line (later Eastern Airlines); (ii) Transcontinental Air Transport (later Trans World Airlines); (iii) Northeast Airlines (with Amelia Earhart); and the Boston and Maine Railroad.
At West Point, the exceptionally athletic Vidal Sr. had been a quarterback, coach, and captain of the Academy's football team; and an all-American basketball player. He also participated in the 1920 Summer Olympics and the 1924 Summer Olympics (seventh in the decathlon, and coach of the U.S. pentathlon).
Vidal's mother, Nina Gore, was a high society woman who made her Broadway theatre debut as an extra actress in Sign of the Leopard, in 1928. In 1922, Nina had married Eugene Luther Vidal, Sr., and, thirteen years later, divorced him in 1935. Nina Gore Vidal then was married two more times; to Hugh D. Auchincloss, and also had “a long off-and-on affair” with the actor Clark Gable. As Nina Gore Auchincloss, Vidal's mother was an alternate delegate to the 1940 Democratic National Convention.
The subsequent marriages of his mother and father, yielded four half-siblings for Gore Vidal— Vance Vidal, Valerie Vidal, Thomas Gore Auchincloss, and Nina Gore Auchincloss — and four step-brothers from his mother's third marriage to Robert Olds, a major general in the United States Army Air Forces, who died in 1943, ten months after marrying Nina. The nephews of Gore Vidal include Burr Steers, a writer and film director, and Hugh Auchincloss Steers (1963–1995), who had been a figurative painter.
The boy Vidal was raised in Washington, D.C., where he attended the Sidwell Friends School and then the St. Albans School. Given the blindness of his maternal grandfather, Senator Thomas Gore, of Oklahoma, Vidal read aloud to him, and was his Senate Page and seeing-eye guide. The senator's isolationism contributed a major principle to Vidal's political philosophy, which ran counter to the geopolitical adventurism of the American Empire.
In 1939, Vidal left St. Albans School to study in France, but returned when the Second World War began (1 September 1939). In 1940, he attended the Los Alamos Ranch School, and later transferred to Phillips Exeter Academy, in Exeter, New Hampshire. In the article Gore Vidal: Sharpest Tongue in the West, Roy Hattersley said that "for reasons he never explained, he [Vidal] did not go on to Harvard, Yale, or Princeton, with other members of his social class." Rather than attend university, the patriotic lad, Eugene Luther Vidal, enlisted in the U.S. Army. Having failed training as a military engineer, he crammed and learned the elements of navigation, and became a maritime warrant-officer; he served as first mate of the F.S. 35th, berthed at Dutch Harbor. After three years in service, Warrant Officer Vidal suffered hypothermia, developed rheumatoid arthritis, and consequently was reassigned to duty as a mess officer.
The literary career of Gore Vidal began with the successful publication of the military novel Williwaw, a men-at-war story derived from his Alaskan Harbor Detachment duty during the Second World War. The second novel he published, The City and the Pillar (1948) caused a moralistic furor, because of the dispassionate presentation of a male homosexual relationship. The novel was dedicated to “J.T.”; decades later, Vidal confirmed that the initials were those of James Trimble III, killed in the Battle of Iwo Jima on 1 March 1945; and that Jimmie Trimble was the only person Gore Vidal ever loved. The New York Times book critic, Orville Prescott, was so offended by The City and the Pillar, that he refused to review, or to permit other critics to review, any book by Gore Vidal.
In response, Vidal assumed the pseudonym “Edgar Box”, and wrote the mystery novels Death in the Fifth Position (1952), Death before Bedtime (1953), and Death Likes it Hot (1954); each featured Peter Cutler Sargeant II, a publicist-turned-private-eye. The Edgar Box genre novels sold well, and the black-listed Vidal secretly earned a living. That mystery-novel success then led Vidal to write in other genres, and he produced the stageplay The Best Man: A Play about Politics (1960), and the television play Visit to a Small Planet (1957); two early teleplays were A Sense of Justice (1955) and Honor.
In the 1960s, Vidal published three novels: (i) Julian (1964), about the Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate (r. A.D. 361–363), who sought to reinstate polytheistic paganism when Christianity threatened the cultural integrity of the Roman Empire; (ii) Washington, D.C. (1967), about political life during the presidential era (1933–1945) of Franklin D. Roosevelt; and (iii) Myra Breckinridge (1968), a satire of the American movie business, by way of a school of dramatic arts owned by a transsexual man, the eponymous anti-heroine.
After publishing the plays Weekend (1968) and An Evening With Richard Nixon (1972), and the novel Two Sisters: A Novel in the Form of a Memoir (1970), the playwright and novelist Gore Vidal then concentrated upon the essay, and developed two types of fiction. The first type is about American history, novels specifically about the nature of national politics. About those historical novels, the critic Harold Bloom said that “Vidal's imagination of American politics . . . is so powerful as to compel awe.” In the event, the historical novels formed the seven-book series, Narratives of Empire: (i) Burr (1973), (ii) 1876 (1976), (iii) Lincoln (1984), (iv) Empire (1987), (v) Hollywood (1990), (vi) Washington, D.C. (1967), and (vii) The Golden Age (2000). Besides U.S. history, Vidal also explored and analyzed the history of the Ancient World, specifically the Axial Age (800–200 B.C.), with the novel Creation (1981). The novel was published without four chapters that originally were part of the manuscript he submitted to the publisher; years later, Vidal restored the chapters to the text, and re-published the novel Creation in 2002.
The second type of fiction is the topical satire, such as Myron (1974) the sequel to Myra Breckinridge; Kalki (1978), about the end of the world, and the consequent ennui; Duluth (1983), an alternate universe story; Live from Golgotha (1992), about the adventures of Timothy, Bishop of Macedonia, in the early days of Christianity; and The Smithsonian Institution (1998), a time-travel story.
In 1956, Vidal was hired as a contract screenwriter for Metro Goldwyn Mayer. In 1959, director William Wyler needed script doctors to re-write the script for Ben-Hur, originally written by Karl Tunberg. Vidal collaborated with Christopher Fry, reworking the screenplay on condition that MGM release him from the last two years of his contract. Producer Sam Zimbalist's death complicated the screenwriting credit. The Screen Writers Guild resolved the matter by listing Tunberg as sole screenwriter, denying credit to both Vidal and Fry. This decision was based on the WGA screenwriting credit system, which favors original authors. Vidal later claimed in the documentary film The Celluloid Closet that to explain the animosity between Ben-Hur and Messala, he had inserted a gay subtext suggesting that the two had had a prior relationship, but that actor Charlton Heston was oblivious. Heston denied that Vidal contributed significantly to the script. Vidal accused Heston of being a compulsive liar and a bad actor.
He also wrote the original draft for the controversial film Caligula, but later had his name removed when director Tinto Brass and actor Malcolm McDowell rewrote the script, changing the tone and themes significantly. The producers later made an attempt to salvage some of Vidal's vision in the film's post-production.
In the U,S., Gore Vidal often is identified as an essayist, rather than as a novelist. Even the occasionally hostile literary critic, such as Martin Amis, admitted that “Essays are what he is good at . . . [Vidal] is learned, funny, and exceptionally clear-sighted. Even his blind spots are illuminating.”
For six decades, Vidal the writer applied himself to many socio-political, sexual, historical, and literary subjects. In the essay anthology Armageddon (1987) Vidal explored the intricacies of power (political and cultural) in the contemporary U.S. His criticism of the incumbent U.S. President, Ronald Reagan, as a "triumph of the embalmer's art" communicated that Reagan's provincial worldview, and that of his Administrations, was out of date and inadequate to the geopolitical realities of the world in the late twentieth century. In 1993, Vidal won the National Book Award for Nonfiction for the anthology United States: Essays 1952–1992 (1993).
According to the citation, "Whatever his subject, he addresses it with an artist's resonant appreciation, a scholar's conscience and the persuasive powers of a great essayist."
A subsequent collection of essays, published in 2000, is The Last Empire. He subsequently published such self-described "pamphlets" as Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Dreaming War: Blood for Oil and the Cheney-Bush Junta, and Imperial America, critiques of American expansionism, the military-industrial complex, the national security state and the George W. Bush administration. Vidal also wrote a historical essay about the U.S.'s founding fathers, Inventing a Nation. In 1995, he published a memoir Palimpsest, and in 2006 its follow-up volume, Point to Point Navigation. Earlier that year, Vidal also published Clouds and Eclipses: The Collected Short Stories.
Because of his matter-of-fact treatment of same-sex relations in such books as The City and The Pillar, Vidal is often seen as an early champion of sexual liberation. In the September 1969 edition of Esquire, for example, Vidal wrote:
We are all bisexual to begin with. That is a fact of our condition. And we are all responsive to sexual stimuli from our own as well as from the opposite sex. Certain societies at certain times, usually in the interest of maintaining the baby supply, have discouraged homosexuality. Other societies, particularly militaristic ones, have exalted it. But regardless of tribal taboos, homosexuality is a constant fact of the human condition and it is not a sickness, not a sin, not a crime ... despite the best efforts of our puritan tribe to make it all three. Homosexuality is as natural as heterosexuality. Notice I use the word 'natural,' not normal.
In 2009, he won the annual Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation, which called him a "prominent social critic on politics, history, literature and culture."
The Public Intellectual
As a public intellectual, Gore Vidal was identified with the liberal politicians and the progressive social causes of the Democratic Party. In 1960, he was the Democratic candidate for Congress, for the 29th Congressional District of New York State, a usually Republican district on the Hudson River, but lost the election to the Republican candidate J. Ernest Wharton, by a margin of 57 percent to 43 percent. Campaigning under the slogan of You'll get more with Gore, Vidal received the most votes any Democrat candidate had received in fifty years. Among his supporters were Eleanor Roosevelt, and Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, friends who spoke in his behalf.
In 1982, he campaigned against Jerry Brown, the incumbent Governor of California, in the Democratic primary election to the U.S. Senate; Vidal correctly prophesied that the opposing Republican candidate would win that election. That foray into senatorial politics is the subject of the documentary film Gore Vidal: The Man Who Said No (1983), directed by Gary Conklin.
In the article, “The Meaning of Timothy McVeigh” (2001), meant to glean why the domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh perpetrated the Oklahoma City bombing (1995), Vidal concluded that McVeigh (a politically-disillusioned U.S. Army veteran of the First Iraq War, 1990–91) had destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in revenge for the FBI's Waco massacre (1993) at the Branch Davidian Compound, in Texas, because the U.S. government had mistreated Americans in the same way as the U.S. Army had mistreated the Iraqis.
In Dreaming War: Blood for Oil and the Cheney–Bush Junta (2002), Vidal drew parallels about how the U.S. enters wars, and said that President Franklin D. Roosevelt provoked Imperial Japan to attack the U.S., in order to justify the American entry to the Second World War (1939–45), and that Roosevelt had advance knowledge of the dawn-raid Attack on Pearl Harbor (7 December 1941). In the documentary Why We Fight (2005), Vidal said that, during the final months of the War, the Japanese had unsuccessfully tried to surrender to the U.S., "They were trying to surrender all that summer, but Truman wouldn't listen, because Truman wanted to drop the bombs. . . . To show off. To frighten Stalin. To change the balance of power in the world. To declare war on communism. Perhaps we were starting a pre-emptive world war."
As a public intellectual, Gore Vidal criticized the political harm to the nation, the voiding of the citizen's rights, by the USA Patriot Act (2001) promulgated by the Bush Administration (2000–2008). He described Bush, himself, as "the stupidest man in the United States";  and that Bush's foreign policy was explicitly expansionist. That the Bush Administration, and their oil-business sponsors, aimed to control the petroleum of Central Asia, after having gained effective control of the petroleum of the Persian Gulf in 1991.
In May 2007, in discussing the 9/11 conspiracy theories that might explain the “who?” and the “why?” of the terrorist attacks against New York City and Washington, D.C., Vidal said:
I'm not a conspiracy theorist, I'm a conspiracy analyst. Everything the Bushites touch is screwed up. They could never have pulled off 9/11, even if they wanted to. Even if they longed to. They could step aside, though, or just go out to lunch while these terrible things were happening to the nation. I believe that of them.
In the event, Vidal became a member of the board of advisors of The World Can't Wait, a political organization who sought to publicly repudiate the foreign-policy program of the Bush Administration (2000–2008), and advocated the impeachment of President George W. Bush for war crimes, such as pre-emptively launching the Second Iraq War (2003–2011) and torturing prisoners of war (soldiers, guerrillas, civilians) in violation of international law.
On 30 September 2009, the British newspaper The Times published an interview with Vidal in which he said that there soon would be a dictatorship in the U.S. The newspaper emphasized that Gore Vidal, the Grand Old Man of American Belles-lettres, claimed that America is rotting away — and to not expect Barack Obama to save the country and the nation from imperial decay. In that interview, Gore Vidal also up-dated his views of his life, the U.S., and other political subjects. The political and cultural rot of which he spoke, he earlier had identified and described in the essay “The State of the Union” (1975), that:
There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party . . . and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt — until recently . . . and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties.
In the American Conservative article, “My Pen Pal Gore Vidal” (2012), Bill Kauffman reported that Gore Vidal's favorite U.S. politician, during his lifetime, was Huey Long (1893–1935), the populist Governor (1928–1932) of and Senator (1932–1935) for the State of Louisiana, who also had perceived the essential, one-party nature of U.S. politics; and who was assassinated, by a lone gunman.
Despite that, Vidal said, "I think of myself as a conservative", with a proprietary attitude towards the U.S. "My family helped start [this country] . . . and we've been in political life . . . since the 1690s, and I have a very possessive sense about this country." Based upon that background of populism, from 1970 to 1972, Vidal was a chairman of the People's Party of the United States. In 1971, he endorsed the consumer-rights advocate Ralph Nader for U.S. president in the 1972 election. In 2004, in he endorsed the Democrat Dennis Kucinich in his candidacy for the U.S. presidency (in 2004), because Kucinich was "the most eloquent of the lot" of presidential candidates, from either the Republican or the Democratic parties, and that Kucinich was "very much a favorite out there, in the amber fields of grain".
- The Buckley–Vidal feud
In 1968, the ABC television network hired the liberal Gore Vidal and the conservative William F. Buckley, Jr. as political analysts of the presidential-nomination conventions of the Republican and Democratic parties. Their strong commentaries led to Buckley threatening Vidal with physical violence. After days of bickering, their debates degraded to the vitriolic, to ad hominem attacks. In discussing the 1968 Democratic National Convention protests, the public intellectuals argued about the freedom-of-speech-right of American political protesters to display a Viet Cong flag, when Vidal told Buckley to "shut up a minute", after Buckley had interrupted him, and, in response to Buckley's reference to "pro–Nazi" protesters, said: "As far as I'm concerned, the only sort of pro-crypto-Nazi I can think of is yourself." The offended Buckley replied, "Now listen, you queer. Stop calling me a crypto-Nazi, or I'll sock you in the goddamn face, and you'll stay plastered." Their quarrel was interrupted by the ABC News anchorman-moderator Howard K. Smith, and they controlled their mutual hostility, and returned to providing the political analysis and commentary for which they had been hired. Later, William F. Buckley said he regretted having called Gore Vidal "a queer", yet said that Vidal was an "evangelist for bisexuality".
In 1969, in Esquire magazine, Buckley continued his cultural feud with Vidal in the essay "On Experiencing Gore Vidal" (August 1969), in which he portrayed Vidal as an apologist for homosexuality; Buckley said, “The man who, in his essays, proclaims the normalcy of his affliction [i.e., homosexuality], and in his art the desirability of it, is not to be confused with the man who bears his sorrow quietly. The addict is to be pitied and even respected, not the pusher." The essay is collected in The Governor Listeth: A Book of Inspired Political Revelations (1970), an anthology of Buckley's writings of that time.
In turn, also in Esquire magazine, Vidal responded to Buckley with the essay “A Distasteful Encounter with William F. Buckley, Jr.” (September 1969), and said that Buckley was "anti-black", "anti-semitic", and a "warmonger". The offended Buckley sued Vidal for libel; at trial, the judge said, that the "court must conclude that Vidal's comments, in these paragraphs, meet the minimal standard of fair comment. The inferences made by Vidal, from Buckley's [earlier editorial] statements, cannot be said to be completely unreasonable."
Moreover, their feud continued, and, in Esquire magazine, Vidal implied that, in 1944, William F. Buckley, Jr., and unnamed siblings had vandalized a Protestant church in Sharon, Connecticut (the Buckley family hometown) after the wife of a pastor had sold a house to a Jewish family. The offended Buckley again sued Vidal and Esquire for libel; and Vidal filed a counter-claim for libel against Buckley, citing Buckley's characterization of Myra Breckinridge (1968) as a pornographic novel.
The court dismissed Vidal's counter-claim. Buckley accepted a money settlement of $115,000 to pay the fee of his attorney, and an editorial apology from Esquire magazine, in which the publisher and the editors said that they were "utterly convinced" of the untruthfulness of Vidal's assertions. Yet, in a letter to Newsweek magazine, the publisher of Esquire said that "the settlement of Buckley's suit against us" was not "a 'disavowal' of Vidal's article. On the contrary, it clearly states that we published that article because we believed that Vidal had a right to assert his opinions, even though we did not share them."
In Gore Vidal: A Biography (1999), Fred Kaplan, said that “The court had 'not' sustained Buckley's case against Esquire . . . [that] the court had 'not' ruled that Vidal's article was 'defamatory.' It had ruled that the case would have to go to trial in order to determine, as a matter of fact, whether or not it was defamatory. The cash value of the settlement with Esquire represented 'only' Buckley's legal expenses. . . ."
In 2003, William F. Buckley, Jr. resumed his complaint of having been libelled by Gore Vidal, with the publication of the anthology Esquire's Big Book of Great Writing (2003), which included Vidal's essay, “A Distasteful Encounter with William F. Buckley, Jr.” (1969). Again, the offended Buckley filed lawsuit for libel, and Esquire magazine again settled Buckley's claim with $65,000 — $55,000 for the fees of his attorney, and $10,000 for personal damages suffered by Buckley.
In the obituary “RIP WFB — in Hell” (20 March 2008), Vidal remembered his nemesis William F. Buckley, Jr., who had died on 27 February 2008. Later, in the interview "Literary Lion: Questions for Gore Vidal" (15 June 2008), the New York Times reporter Deborah Solomon asked Vidal, “How did you feel, when you heard that Buckley died this year?” Vidal responded:
I thought hell is bound to be a livelier place, as he joins, forever, those whom he served in life, applauding their prejudices and fanning their hatred.
- The Mailer–Vidal feud
On 15 December 1971, during the recording of the The Dick Cavett Show, with Janet Flanner, allegedly, Norman Mailer head-butted Vidal when they were backstage. When a reporter asked Vidal why Mailer had knocked heads with him, Vidal said, "Once again, words failed Norman Mailer." During the recording of the talk show, Vidal and Mailer insulted each other, over what Vidal had written about him, prompting Mailer to say, "I've had to smell your works from time to time." Apparently, Mailer's umbrage resulted from Vidal's reference to Mailer having stabbed his wife of the time.
- The rights of German Scientologists
In 1997, Gore Vidal was one of thirty-four public intellectuals and celebrities who signed an open-letter addressed to Helmut Kohl, the incumbent Chancellor of Germany, published in the International Herald Tribune, protesting the treatment of Scientologists in Germany. Despite that stance as a dispassionate intellectual, Gore Vidal was fundamentally critical of Scientology as religion.
- National self-preservation
In 1999, in the lecture “The Folly of Mass Immigration”, presented in Dublin, Vidal said:
A characteristic of our present chaos is the dramatic migration of tribes. They are on the move from east to west, from south to north. Liberal tradition requires that borders must always be open to those in search of safety, or even the pursuit of happiness. But now, with so many millions of people on the move, even the great-hearted are becoming edgy. Norway is large enough and empty enough to take in 40 to 50 million homeless Bengalis. If the Norwegians say that, all in all, they would rather not take them in, is this to be considered racism? I think not. It is simply self-preservation, the first law of species.”
- Vidal the Humanist
- The Polanski rape case
In 2009, Vidal was interviewed by John Meroney in the Atlantic. In this interview he defended Roman Polanski regarding his child rape conviction of a 13 year old girl by saying, "Anti-Semitism got poor Polanski. He was also a foreigner. He did not subscribe to American values in the least. To [his persecutors], that seemed vicious and unnatural." Vidal followed up by vilifying the victim when he said, "Look, am I going to sit and weep every time a young hooker feels as though she’s been taken advantage of?".
An adult victim of child rape later called this assertion "mean-spirited" and "callous".
Actor & pop-culture figure
In the 1960s, Gore Vidal emigrated to Italy, where he befriended the film director Federico Fellini, for whom he appeared, in a cameo role as himself, in the film Roma (1972). He acted in the movies Bob Roberts (1992), a serio-comedy about a reactionary, populist politician who manipulates youth culture to win votes; With Honors (1994) an Ivy league college-life comedy; Gattaca (1997), a science-fiction drama about the falsity of racial purity; and Igby Goes Down (2002), a coming-of-age serio-comedy; the last two movies were directed by his nephew, Burr Steers.
- Pop-culture figure
In the 1960s, the weekly American sketch comedy television program Rowan & Martin's Laugh-in featured a running-joke sketch about Gore Vidal; the Telephone Operator Ernestine (Lily Tomlin) would call him, saying: “Mr. Veedul, this is the Phone Company calling! (snort! snort!)”. The sketch, titled “Mr. Veedle” also appeared in Tomlin's comedy record-album This Is a Recoring (1972).
In 2005, Gore Vidal portrayed himself in Trailer for the Remake of Gore Vidal's Caligula, a video-art piece, by Francesco Vezzoli, included to the 2005 Venice Biennale, and part of the permanent collection of the Guggenheim Museum, in New York City. Moreover, Vidal provided his own voice for the animated-cartoon versions of himself in The Simpsons and the Family Guy programs. Likewise, he portrayed himself in the Da Ali G Show; the Ali G character mistakes him for Vidal Sassoon, a famous hairdresser.
In the biographic film Amelia (2009), the child Gore Vidal was portrayed by William Cuddy, a Canadian actor. In the Truman Capote biographic film Infamous (2006), the young adult Gore Vidal was portrayed by the American actor Michael Panes.
In her multi-volume memoir The Diary of Anaïs Nin (1931–1974), Anaïs Nin said she had a love affair with Gore Vidal, but he denied her claim in his memoir Palimpsest (1995). Vidal also said that he had romances with the actress Diana Lynn, and alluded to possibly having fathered a daughter. Yet, in the online article “Gore Vidal's Secret, Unpublished Love Letter to Anaïs Nin” (2013), the author Kim Krizan said she found an unpublished love letter from Gore Vidal to Anaïs Nin. The letter contradicts Vidal's previous denial of not having had a love affair with Nin, which romance he denied in the autobiographic Palimpsest. Krizan found the love letter whilst researching Mirages, the latest volume of Anaïs Nin's uncensored diary, to which Krizan wrote the “Foreword”.
Moreover, Vidal briefly was engaged to the actress Joanne Woodward, before she married the actor Paul Newman; after marrying, they briefly shared a house with Vidal in Los Angeles. In 1950, Gore Vidal met Howard Austen, who became his partner for life. He said that the secret to his long relationship with Austen was that they did not copulate with each other: "It's easy to sustain a relationship when sex plays no part, and impossible, I have observed, when it does." In 1995, Vidal told reporter Judy Wieder, of The Advocate magazine, that he refused to call himself gay, because he was not an adjective: "To be categorized is, simply, to be enslaved. Watch out. I have never thought of myself as a victim. . . . "I've said — a thousand times? — in print and on TV, that everyone is bisexual." 
The cultural critic Harold Bloom, said that Gore Vidal believed his sexuality had denied him full recognition from the literary community. Meanwhile, Bloom said that Vidal's lack of recognition owed more to Vidal's writing in the unfashionable genre of historical fiction, than with whom he shared a pillow. As a writer, Gore Vidal was influenced by the literature of Petronius, Juvenal, Apuleius,William Shakespeare, Thomas Love Peacock, George Meredith,Marcel Proust, Henry James, and Evelyn Waugh.
In the late twentieth century Vidal resided in Italy and the U.S. In 2003, he sold his 5,000-sq.-ft. (460 m²) villa, La Rondinaia (The Swallow's Nest), on the Amalfi Coast, and moved to Los Angeles. Howard Austen died in November 2003 and, in February 2005, was buried in a plot for himself and Vidal at Rock Creek Cemetery, in Washington, D.C.
In the article “In a Final Plot Twist, Gore Vidal Leaves His Estate to Harvard University” (2013), the New York Times reported an interview with Burr Steers, Vidal's nephew, who said that his uncle, Gore, was terrified that William F. Buckley, Jr. might publish evidence of Vidal's sexual relations with boys. “Jerry Sandusky acts”, said Nina Straight, the mother of Steers, referring to the convicted child-molester who had been an assistant-coach for the football team of Pennsylvania State University.
Steers said, “I know Buckley had a file, on him, that Gore feared. It would make sense if that material was about him having underage sex. Gore spent a lot of time in Bangkok, after all. Gore also had a very weird take on the abuse perpetrated by Catholic priests. He would say that the young guys involved were hustlers who were sending signals.” Reportedly, Gore Vidal suffered alcoholic encephalopathy, from "Wernicke-Korsakoff, a syndrome characterized by a number of symptoms, including confusion and hallucination"; and that, in the final years of his life, he drank to excess, especially after the death of his companion Howard Austen, in 2003.
After Vidal's death, tributes immediately poured in from various media sources. The New York Times described him in his obituary as being in his old age "an Augustan figure who believed himself to be the last of a breed, and he was probably right. Few American writers have been more versatile or gotten more mileage from their talent." The Los Angeles Times described him as a "literary juggernaut" whose novels and essays were considered "among the most elegant in the English language". The Washington Post remembered him as a "major writer of the modern era" and an "astonishingly versatile man of letters".
In the UK The Guardian said "Vidal's critics disparaged his tendency to formulate an aphorism rather than to argue, finding in his work an underlying note of contempt for those who did not agree with him. His fans, on the other hand, delighted in his unflagging wit and elegant style." The Daily Telegraph described him as "an icy iconoclast" who "delighted in chronicling what he perceived as the disintegration of civilisation around him", while BBC News said he was "one of the finest post-war American writers... an indefatigable critic of the whole American system. Writing in Los Angeles, BBC journalist Alastair Leithead said: "Gore Vidal saw himself as the last of the breed of literary figures who became celebrities in their own right. Never a stranger to chat shows, his wry and witty opinions were sought after as much as his writing."
Popular Spanish publication Ideal reported Vidal's death as a loss to the "culture of the United States" and described him as a "Huge American novelist and essayist". The Italian Il Corriere described him as "the enfant terrible of American culture" and said that he was "one of the giants of American literature". French paper Le Figaro described him as "the Killjoy of America" but also said that he was an "outstanding polemicist" who used words "like high precision weapons."
On August 23, 2012, a celebration of Vidal's life and work was held at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in New York, where a revival of his play The Best Man was running. The tribute, hosted by Dick Cavett, featured personal reminiscences as well as performances of excerpts of Vidal's work from many of his friends and colleagues, including Elizabeth Ashley, Candice Bergen, Hillary Clinton, Alan Cumming, James Earl Jones, Elaine May, Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon, Cybill Shepherd, and Liz Smith.
- Rocking the Boat (1963)
- Reflections Upon a Sinking Ship (1969)
- Sex, Death and Money (1969) (paperback compilation)
- Homage to Daniel Shays (1972)
- Matters of Fact and of Fiction (1977)
- Views from a Window Co-Editor (1981)
- The Second American Revolution (1983)
- Vidal In Venice (1985) ISBN 0-671-60691-3
- Armageddon? (1987) (UK only)
- At Home (1988)
- A View From The Diner's Club (1991) (UK only)
- Screening History (1992) ISBN 0-233-98803-3
- Decline and Fall of the American Empire (1992) ISBN 1-878825-00-3
- United States: Essays 1952–1992 (1993) ISBN 0-7679-0806-6 — National Book Award
- Palimpsest: a memoir (1995) ISBN 0-679-44038-0
- Virgin Islands (1997) (UK only)
- The American Presidency (1998) ISBN 1-878825-15-1
- Sexually Speaking: Collected Sex Writings (1999)
- The Last Empire: essays 1992–2000 (2001) ISBN 0-375-72639-X (there is also a much shorter UK edition)
- Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace or How We Came To Be So Hated, Thunder's Mouth Press, 2002, (2002) ISBN 1-56025-405-X
- Dreaming War: Blood for Oil and the Cheney-Bush Junta, Thunder's Mouth Press, (2002) ISBN 1-56025-502-1
- Inventing a Nation: Washington, Adams, Jefferson (2003) ISBN 0-300-10171-6
- Imperial America: Reflections on the United States of Amnesia (2004) ISBN 1-56025-744-X
- Point to Point Navigation: A Memoir (2006) ISBN 0-385-51721-1
- The Selected Essays of Gore Vidal (2008) ISBN 0-385-52484-6
- Gore Vidal: Snapshots in History's Glare (2009) ISBN 0-8109-5049-9
- Visit to a Small Planet (1957) ISBN 0-8222-1211-0
- The Best Man (1960)
- On the March to the Sea (1960–1961, 2004)
- Romulus (adapted from Friedrich Dürrenmatt's 1950 play Romulus der Große) (1962)
- Weekend (1968)
- Drawing Room Comedy (1970)
- An Evening with Richard Nixon (1970) ISBN 0-394-71869-0
- On the March to the Sea (2005)
- Williwaw (1946) ISBN 0-226-85585-6
- In a Yellow Wood (1947)
- The City and the Pillar (1948) ISBN 1-4000-3037-4
- The Season of Comfort (1949) ISBN 0-233-98971-4
- A Search for the King (1950) ISBN 0-345-25455-4
- Dark Green, Bright Red (1950) ISBN 0-233-98913-7 (see "In the Lair of the Octopus" and Dreaming War)
- A Star's Progress (aka Cry Shame!) (1950) as “Katherine Everard”
- The Judgment of Paris (1952) ISBN 0-345-33458-2
- Death in the Fifth Position (1952) under the pseudonym Edgar Box
- Thieves Fall Out (1953) under the pseudonym Cameron Kay
- Death Before Bedtime (1953) under the pseudonym Edgar Box
- Death Likes It Hot (1954) under the pseudonym Edgar Box
- Messiah (1954) ISBN 0-14-118039-0
- A Thirsty Evil (1956) (short stories)
- Julian (1964) ISBN 0-375-72706-X
- Washington, D.C. (1967) ISBN 0-316-90257-8
- Myra Breckinridge (1968) ISBN 1-125-97948-8
- Two Sisters (1970) ISBN 0-434-82958-7
- Burr (1973) ISBN 0-375-70873-1
- Myron (1974) ISBN 0-586-04300-4
- 1876 (1976) ISBN 0-375-70872-3
- Kalki (1978) ISBN 0-14-118037-4
- Creation (1981) ISBN 0-349-10475-1
- Duluth (1983) ISBN 0-394-52738-0
- Lincoln (1984) ISBN 0-375-70876-6
- Empire (1987) ISBN 0-375-70874-X
- Hollywood (1990) ISBN 0-375-70875-8
- Live From Golgotha (1992) ISBN 0-14-023119-6
- The Smithsonian Institution (1998) ISBN 0-375-50121-5
- The Golden Age (2000) ISBN 0-375-72481-8
- Clouds and Eclipses: The Collected Short Stories (2006) The anthology A Thirsty Evil (1956), with the additional short story “Clouds and Eclipses”
Screenplays and teleplays
- Climax!: A Farewell to Arms (1955); Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1955) (TV adaptations)
- The Best of Broadway (1955): TV adaptation of Stage Door
- The Catered Affair (1956)
- I Accuse! (1958)
- The Scapegoat (1959)
- Ben Hur (1959) (uncredited)
- Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)
- The Best Man (1964)
- Is Paris Burning? (1966)
- Last of the Mobile Hot Shots (1970)
- Caligula (1979)
- Dress Gray (1986)
- The Sicilian (1987) (uncredited)
- Billy the Kid (1989)
- Dimenticare Palermo (1989)
- What's My Line? occasional guest (1960s)
- CBS Reports: The Homosexuals (1967)
- Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (1976) appeared in 7 episodes, as himself
- Profile of a Writer: Gore Vidal — RM Productions (1979 documentary film)
- Gore Vidal: The Man Who Said No (1983 documentary film)
- Weekend In Wallop (1984)
- Vidal in Venice — Antelope Films for Channel Four Television (1987 documentary film)
- Bob Roberts — as Senator Brickley Paiste (1992 film)
- With Honors — the pessimistic, right-wing Prof. Pitkannan (1994 film)
- The Celluloid Closet (1995 documentary film)
- Gattaca — Director Josef (1997 science-fiction film)
- Shadow Conspiracy — Congressman Paige (1997 political thriller)
- Igby Goes Down Schoolmaster (2001 film)
- The Education of Gore Vidal (2003 documentary film, by Deborah Dickson) broadcast by PBS in the US.
- Thinking XXX (2004 documentary)
- Da Ali G Show (2004 TV)
- Why We Fight (2005 film)
- Inside Deep Throat (2005 film)
- One Bright Shining Moment (2005 film)
- Trailer for a Remake of Gore Vidal's Caligula (2005 spoof trailer)
- Foreign Correspondent — with former NSW premier Bob Carr
- The U.S. Versus John Lennon (2006 film)
- Family Guy episode: "Mother Tucker" (17 September 2006)
- The Simpsons episode: "Moe'N'a Lisa" (19 November 2006)
- Alex Jones radio show
- Jon Wiener's radio program in Los Angeles
- The Henry Rollins Show (2007 TV)
- Terrorstorm: Final Cut Special Edition (2007)
- Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra concert, 2 August 2007 — Narrated the Lincoln Portrait, by Aaron Copland, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas.
- Lateline — ABC Television Australia Interview (2 May 2008)
- Democracy Now — interview: on the Bush Presidency, History, and the "United States of Amnesia" (14 May 2008)
- The South Bank Show (18 May 2008)
- HARDtalk — BBC News (22 May 2008)
- The Andrew Marr Show (25 May 2008)
- The US is Not a Republic Anymore  (June, 2008)
- Zero: An Investigation into 9/11 (June 2008)
- Interview on the BBC's US Presidential Election Coverage with David Dimbleby (4 November 2008)
- "Gore Vidal's History of the National Security State" on The Real News Network (2008)
- "Writer Against the Grain": Gore Vidal in Conversation with Jay Parini, 2009 Key West Literary Seminar (audio recording 59:09)
- Real Time with Bill Maher (10 April 2009)
- Shrink (2009 film)
- "Gore Vidal's America" on The Real News Network (24 December 2010)
- "NLS Other Writings". Loc.gov. February 2011. Retrieved November 7, 2011. "Vidal, Gore (və-DÄL)"
- "Gore Vidal Biography". BookBrowse. July 25, 2011. Retrieved November 7, 2011.
- Vidal, Gore, "West Point and the Third Loyalty", The New York Review of Books, Volume 20, Number 16, October 18, 1973.
- Kaplan, Fred (1999). "Excerpt: Gore Vidal, A Biography". New York TImes. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
- Vidal, Gore. Palimpsest (1995), p. 401.
- Gore Vidal, Richard Peabody, and Lucinda Ebersole, Conversations with Gore Vidal, (University Press of Mississippi, 2005), p. xix.
- Gore Vidal, Richard Peabody, and Lucinda Ebersole, Conversations with Gore Vidal, (University Press of Mississippi, 2005), page 4
- Gore Vidal, Richard Peabody, and Lucinda Ebersole, Conversations with Gore Vidal, (University Press of Mississippi, 2005), p. xx.
- "Aeronatics: $8,073.61", Time, 28 September 1931
- "Booknotes". Booknotes. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
- "Eugene L. Vidal, Aviation Leader". The New York Times. 21 February 1969. p. 43.
- South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame Profile: Gene Vidal[dead link].
- "General Robert Olds Marries". The New York Times. June 7, 1942. p. 6.
- "Miss Nina Gore Marries". The New York Times. January 12, 1922.
- Vidal, Gore. Point to Point Navigation, New York: Doubleday, 2006, p. 135.
- "Politicians: Aubertine to Austern". The Political Graveyard. 2008. Retrieved 31 October 2008.
- "Maj. Gen. Olds, 46, of Air Force, Dies". The New York Times. 29 April 1943.
- "Hugh Steers, 32, Figurative Painter". New York Times. 4 March 1995.
- Durbin, Karen (15 September 2002). "A Family's Legacy: Pain and Humor (and a Movie)". New York Times.
- Rutten, Tim. "'The Selected Essays of Gore Vidal'", Los Angeles Times, 18 June 2008.
- Gore Vidal: A Critical Companion Susan Baker, Curtis S. Gibson. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997. ISBN 0-313-29579-4. p. 3.
- Hattersley, Roy. "Gore Vidal: Sharpest Tongue in the West". Daily Mail (London).
- Vidal, Gore. Williwaw, “Preface”, p. 1.
- gorevidalnow.com[dead link], in which Gore Vidal corrects his Wikipedia page
- Vidal, Gore. The City and the Pillar and Seven Early Stories (NY: Random House), p. xiii.
- Roberts, James. "The Legacy of Jimmy Trimble", ESPN, 14 March 2002.
- Chalmers, Robert. "Gore Vidal: Literary feuds, his 'vicious' mother and rumours of a secret love child", The Independent, 25 May 2008.
- Vidal, Gore. Point to Point Navigation (New York: Doubleday, 2006), 245
- Boston Globe: Diane White, "Murder, He Wrote, Before Becoming a Man of Letters", 25 March 2011[dead link], Retrieved 11 July 2011
- Vidal, Gore. "Introduction to Death in the Fifth Position", in Edgar Box, Death in the Fifth Position (Vintage, 2011), pp. 5–6.
- "Philco Television Playhouse: A Sense of Justice (TV)". The Paley Center for Media. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
- John Leonard (7 July 1970). "Not Enough Blood, Not Enough Gore". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 October 2008.
- Ned Rorem (December 12, 1999). "Gore Vidal, aloof in art and in life". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 18S.
- Mick LaSalle (October 2, 1995). "A Commanding Presence: Actor Charlton Heston sets his epic career in stone—or at least on paper". The San Francisco Chronicle. p. E1.
- "Show Business: Will the Real Caligula Stand Up?", Time, January 3, 1977.
- Solomon, Deborah (June 15, 2008). "Literary Lion". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved June 29, 2008.
- "National Book Awards – 1993". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-03-12.
(With acceptance speech by Vidal, read by Harry Evans.)
- "United States". amazon.com. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- Décoration de l’écrivain Gore Vidal.
- Gore Vidal (September 1969). "A Distasteful Encounter with William F. Buckley Jr.". Esquire. p. 140.
- "UTSA presents poet-novelist Jay Parini in Brackenridge lecture series Feb. 1-3". UTSA Today. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
- "Distinguished Contribution to American Letters". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-03-11.
(With acceptance speech by Vidal and official blurb.)
- "Gore Vidal". The Nation. Retrieved January 22, 2009.
- Ira Henry Freeman, "Gore Vidal Conducts Campaign of Quips and Liberal Views", The New York Times, 15 September 1960
- "Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Election of November 8, 1960". Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. 1960. p. 31, item #29. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
- Freeman, Ira Henry (15 September 1960). "The Playwright, the Lawyer, and the Voters". New York Times. p. 20.
- Gore Vidal, "The Meaning of Timothy McVeigh". Vanity Fair, September 2001.
- Gore Vidal, "Three Lies to Rule By" and "Japanese Intentions in the Second World War", from Dreaming War: Blood for Oil and the Cheney-Bush Junta, New York, 2002, ISBN 1-56025-502-1
- "Why We Fight (9 of 48)". Say2.org (Series of Subtitles for Documentary Video). Retrieved November 7, 2011.[dead link]
- Osborne, Kevin. "Obama a Disappointment". City Beat. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
- "YouTube — The Henry Rollins Show — The Corruption of Election 2008". Youtube.com. January 12, 2008. Retrieved October 20, 2008.
- "Gore Vidal Interview with Alex Jones Infowars, 29 October 2006 Texas Book Fest". Video.google.com. November 1, 2006. Retrieved January 22, 2009.[dead link]
- Close (May 5, 2007). "Vidal salon". The Guardian (London). Retrieved August 17, 2009.
- "World Can't Wait Advisory Board". Retrieved July 29, 2002.[dead link]
- Interview The Times 30 September 2009
- Gore Vidal (1977). Matters of Fact and of Fiction: Essays 1973–1976. Random House. pp. 265–85. ISBN 0-394-41128-5.
- Kauffman, Bill (2012-09-14) My Pen Pal Gore Vidal, The American Conservative
- Real Time With Bill Maher, Season 7, Episode 149, 10 April 2009
- Gore Vidal, "Sexually Speaking: Collected Sexual Writings", Cleis Press, 1999.
- "Gore Vidal". Wtp.org. Retrieved October 20, 2008.
- Vidal, Gore The Best Man/'72, Esquire
- "Dennis Kucinich". The Nation. 8 November 2007. Retrieved March 25, 2012.
- "Political Animals: Vidal, Buckley and the '68 Conventions". Retrieved November 2, 2009.
- "William Buckley/Gore Vidal Debate". Retrieved August 3, 2012.
- "Feuds: Wasted Talent". Time. August 22, 1969. Retrieved November 7, 2011.
- Buckley v. Vidal 327 F. Supp. 1051 (1971)
- "Buckley Drops Vidal Suit, Settles With Esquire", The New York Times, 26 September 1972, p. 40.
- "Reports — Gore Vidal Speaks Seriously Ill of the Dead". Truthdig. March 20, 2008. Retrieved January 22, 2009.
- Solomon, Deborah. "Literary Lion: Questions for Gore Vidal". New York Times. 15 June 2008.
- Veitch, Jonathan (May 24, 1998). "Raging Bull; THE TIME OF OUR TIME. By Norman Mailer". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 7, 2011.
- Cavett, Dick (January 23, 2003). "Cavett: Gore Vidal Hates Being Dead". cnn.com.
- "The Guest From Hell: Savoring Norman Mailer's Legendary Appearance on The Dick Cavett Show". Slate.com. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
- Video of Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal Feud on the Dick Cavett Show on YouTube
- Drozdiak, William (1997-01-14). U.S. Celebrities Defend Scientology in Germany, The Washington Post, p. A-11.
- Baker, Russ. April 1997. "Clash of the Titans: Scientology vs. Germany", George magazine.
- Browne, Anthony (April 30, 2003). "The Folly of Mass Immigration". Opendemocracy.net. Retrieved November 7, 2011.
- "Gore Vidal Accepts Title of American Humanist Association Honorary President". American Humanist Association. 20 April 2009. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
- StarNewsOnline.com (blog) - On “Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In,” [[Lily Tomlin] as Ernestine the telephone operator would often call “Mr. Veedle”]
- Ernestine the Operator - TV Acres www.tvacres.com - Lily Tomlin as Ernestine the Telephone Operator - ...a conversation with writer Gore Vidal as Ernestine says "Mr. Veedle, you owe us ..."
- Record album: This is a Recording, by Lily Tomlin, title: "Mr. Veedle" Rhapsody
- "Collection Online, Francesco Vezzoli. Trailer for the Remake of Gore Vidal's Caligula. 2005". The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
- Joy Do Lico and Andrew Johnson, "The Rumours About My Love Child May Be True, says Gore Vidal"[dead link], The Independent, 25 May 2008.
- Krizan, Kim (27 September 2013). "Gore Vidal's Secret, Unpublished Love Letter To Anaïs Nin". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2013-09-20.
- "What I've Learned", Esquire, June, 2008, p. 132.
- Robinson, Charlotte. "Outtake Blog Author & Gay Icon Gore Vidal Dies". Outtake Blog. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
- Wieder, Judy (2001). Wieder, Judy, ed. Celebrity: The Advocate Interviews. New York, NY: Advocate Books. p. 127. ISBN 1-55583-722-0.
- Bloom, Harold (1994). The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages. Riverhead Books. p. 20. ISBN 9781573225144. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 50, Gore Vidal
- "Gore Vidal: The Death of a Legend | American Atheists". Atheists.org. 1 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-05.
- Duke, Barry (2012-08-01). "Farewell Gore Vidal, Gay Atheist Extraordinary". Freethinker.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-05.
- Time International 28 September 1992, p. 44. described it as "a massive villa — in every detail of location and layout designed to enhance concentration"
- "Gore Vidal, celebrated author, playwright, dies" by Tina Fineberg, USA Today, August 1, 2012
- Hillel Italie and Andrew Dalton, "Gore Vidal, celebrated author, playwright, dies", Associated Press, August 1, 2012.
- Charles McGrath (August 1, 2012). "Prolific, Elegant, Acerbic Writer". The New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- Elaine Woo (August 1, 2012). "Gore Vidal, iconoclastic author, dies at 86". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- Michael Dirda (August 1, 2012). "Gore Vidal dies; imperious gadfly and prolific, graceful writer was 86". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- Jay Parini (August 1, 2012). "Gore Vidal obituary". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2012-08-05.
- "Gore Vidal". London: Telegraph.co.uk. 2012-08-01. Retrieved 2012-08-05.
- Alastair Leithead (2012-08-01). "Obituary: Gore Vidal". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-05.
- "La cultura de Estados Unidos lamenta la muerte de Gore Vidal". Ideal.es. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- Redazione online. "Los Angeles, è morto lo scrittore Gore Vidal". Corriere.it. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "Gore Vidal : le trouble-fête de l'Amérique" [Gore Vidal: the killjoy of America] (in French). Lefigaro.fr. 01/08/2012. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- McGrath, Charles (August 23, 2012). "Vidal’s Own Wit to Celebrate Him". New York TImes. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
- Bryant, Christopher (August 15, 2009). "The Celluloid Closet". Polari Magazine. Retrieved November 7, 2011.
- "Jon Wiener (biography)". The Nation. 21 May 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- "Legendary Author Gore Vidal on the Bush Presidency, History and the "United States of Amnesia"". Democracy Now!. 14 May 2008. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
- "'The US is Not a Republic Anymore'". Insight-info.com. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
- "Zero: an investigation into 9/11". Zero 9/11 Movie. Retrieved November 7, 2011.
- "Gore Vidal vs David Dimbleby on Election Night". BBC. 4 November 2008. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
- Haskell, Arlo (3 July 2009). "Audio Archives: Gore Vidal | Writer Against the Grain". Key West Literary Seminar. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
- "Gore Vidal's America". The Real News. December 24, 2010. Retrieved November 7, 2011.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Gore Vidal|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gore Vidal.|
- Official website of Gore Vidal
- Gore Vidal Index, by Harry Kloman
- Gore Vidal Pages
- Gore Vidal at the Internet Movie Database
- Gore Vidal at the Internet Broadway Database
- Gore Vidal at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Gore Vidal at AllMovie
- Documentary, "Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia"