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Gore Vidal
(October 3, 1925 - July 31, 2012)

3930 Connecticut Ave NW, Van Ness neighborhood, DC.

The celebrated author of essays, novels, plays, memoirs and movie screenplays, Vidal was born into a life of privilege.

His novels include The City and the Pillar (1948), Myra Breckinridge (1968), Burr (1973), and Lincoln (1984). Many of his works are based in Washington, including a memoir Palimpsest (1995) and the novels Washington, DC (1967) and The Smithsonian Institution (1998). Vidal's screenwriting credits included the historical epic Ben-Hur (1959), Suddenly Last Summer (1959), and political thriller The Best Man (1962) starring Henry Fonda as a thinly veiled John F. Kennedy candidate. His plays on Broadway include Visit to a Small Planet (1957) and The Best Man (1960). He wrote for a number of publications including Esquire, The Nation, the New Yorker, and The New York Review of Books.

Vidal won a National Book Award for an essay collection, United States: Essays 1952–1992, and an Edgar Award for the screenplay to an episode of Suspense. An opinionated writer and one of the leading intellectuals of his time, Vidal was famous for public feuds with numerous writers including  William F. Buckley, Jr., Truman Capote, Christopher Hitchens and Norman Mailer.

Vidal spent part of his childhood in Washington where he attended St. Albans School for Boys. After his parents' divorce Vidal lived at this address with his father and with his mother at the Wardman Park Apartments. He is buried in Rock Creek Cemetery alongside his partner of more than fifty years Howard Austen.


Wardman Park Apartments, 2660 Woodley Rd. NW, Woodley Park neighborhood, DC.

Author photo courtesy of Library of Congress.