On February 19, 1992, Gore Vidal visited The John Adams Institute. Jan Donkers moderated the evening.
Gore Vidal was an American writer known for his essays, novels, screenplays, and Broadway plays. A lifelong Democrat, Gore ran for political office twice and was a seasoned political commentator. As well known for his essays as his novels, Vidal wrote for The Nation, New Statesman, The New York Review of Books and Esquire. Vidal’s major subject was America, and through his essays and media appearances he was a longtime critic of American foreign policy. His most widely regarded social novel was Myra Breckinridge; his best known historical novels included Julian, Burr, and Lincoln. He won an Academy Award for Best Picture in 1959 for his epic historical drama Ben Hur. He died in 2012 from pneumonia. In his obituary, The New York Times wrote, “Few American writers have been more versatile or gotten more mileage from their talent” and The Washington Post remembered him as a “major writer of the modern era” and an “astonishingly versatile man of letters”.
"Destroying the Lies of the American Empire: Unveiling a Counter-History of Imperial Origins (2003)"
Gore Vidal (/ˌɡɔːr vᵻˈdɑːl/; born Eugene Louis Vidal; 3 October 1925 – 31 July 2012) was an American writer (of novels, essays, screenplays, and stage plays) and a public intellectual known for his patrician manner, epigrammatic wit, and polished style of writing.
In the 1960s, the weekly American sketch comedy television program Rowan & Martin's Laugh-in featured a running-joke sketch about 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 Recording (1972).
In 1967, Vidal appeared on the CBS documentary, CBS Reports: The Homosexuals, in which he expressed his views on homosexuality in the arts.
In the 1970s, in the stand-up comedy album Reality . . . What a Concept, Robin Williams portrayed Vidal as a drunken shill in a Thunderbird wine commercial.
In 2005, 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 Vidal was portrayed by William Cuddy, a Canadian actor. In the Truman Capote biographic film Infamous (2006), the young adult Vidal was portrayed by the American actor Michael Panes.
In 2009, Vidal was the narrator for a production of Mother Courage and Her Children (1939), by Bertolt Brecht, staged by the Royal National Theatre, London.
In "Gore Vidal Dies at 86; Prolific, Elegant, Acerbic Writer",The New York Times described him as "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." In "Gore Vidal, Iconoclastic Author, Dies at 86", The Los Angeles Times said that he was a literary juggernaut whose novels and essays were considered "among the most elegant in the English language". In "Gore Vidal Dies; imperious gadfly and prolific, graceful writer was 86", The Washington Post described him as a "major writer of the modern era . . . [an] astonishingly versatile man of letters".
In the "Gore Vidal Obituary", The Guardian said that "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." In "Gore Vidal", The Daily Telegraph described the writer as "an icy iconoclast" who "delighted in chronicling what he perceived as the disintegration of civilisation around him". In "Obituary: Gore Vidal", the BBC News said that he was "one of the finest post-war American writers . . . an indefatigable critic of the whole American system . . . 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." In "The Culture of the United States Laments the Death of Gore Vidal", the Spanish on-line magazine Ideal said that Vidal's death was a loss to the "culture of the United States", and described him as a "great American novelist and essayist". In "The Writer Gore Vidal is Dead in Los Angeles", the online edition of the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera described the novelist as "the enfant terrible of American culture" and that he was "one of the giants of American literature". In "Gore Vidal: The Killjoy of America", the French newspaper Le Figaro said that the public intellectual Vidal was "the killjoy of America", but that he also was an "outstanding polemicist" who used words "like high-precision weapons".
On 23 August 2012, in the program a Memorial for Gore Vidal in Manhattan, the life and works of the writer Gore Vidal were celebrated, at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, with a revival The Best Man: A Play About Politics (1960). The writer and comedian Dick Cavett was host of the Vidalian celebration, which featured personal reminiscences about and performances of excerpts from the works of Gore Vidal, by friends and colleagues, such as Elizabeth Ashley, Candice Bergen, and Hillary Clinton, Alan Cumming, James Earl Jones, and Elaine May, Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon, Cybill Shepherd, and Liz Smith.