Christopher Hitchens, the outspoken atheist columnist and author who took delight in ridiculing the Christian faith and its adherents, but who also shared a handful of the convictions many of them embraced, died December 15 of cancer at the age of 62. His death was announced by Vanity Fair, the magazine for which he had written since 1992.
English-born and Oxford-educated, Hitchens was, said the New York Times in its glowing obituary, “a British Trotskyite who had lost faith in the Socialist movement, spent much of his life wandering the globe and reporting on the world’s trouble spots for The Nation magazine, the British newsmagazine The New Statesman and other publications.”
In 1981 he moved to the United States, writing mostly for the liberal Nation magazine before settling into his position as a columnist with Vanity Fair in 1992. In addition to his voluminous, well-crafted attacks on such varied targets as Bill and Hillary Clinton, both George Bushes, Henry Kissinger, and Prince Charles, to name a few, he also defended the war in Iraq, Salmon Rushdie, and even the unborn, once angering “freedom of choice supporters by stating that the child’s life begins at conception,” reported the Associated Press.
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Photo of Christopher Hitchens: AP Images