Christopher Eric Hitchens, invaluable and renowned English author, critic and journalist whose books, essays, musings, writings and journalistic career spanned more than forty years, has passed away. He had been a columnist and literary critic at numerous prestigious periodicals and sites such as The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, Slate, World Affairs, The Nation, and Free Inquiry. Hitchens was a rare and potent voice, an acerbic wit who was a constant critic of the status of our world, society, and culture. He observed the human condition with an élan and keen eye. Simply put, the man cared a great deal about our culture, he gave a shit. Pour out some Balvenie for the man.


The New York Times: CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS, 1949-2011: Polemicist Who Slashed All, Freely, With Wit (by William Grimes)

The Los Angeles Times: Christopher Hitchens dies at 62; engaging, enraging author and essayist (by Elaine Woo)

Vanity Fair: In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens, 1949–2011:

Christopher Hitchens—the incomparable critic, masterful rhetorician, fiery wit, and fearless bon vivant—died today at the age of 62. Hitchens was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in the spring of 2010, just after the publication of his memoir, Hitch-22, and began chemotherapy soon after. His matchless prose has appeared in Vanity Fair since 1992, when he was named contributing editor.

“Cancer victimhood contains a permanent temptation to be self-centered and even solipsistic,” Hitchens wrote nearly a year ago in Vanity Fair, but his own final labors were anything but: in the last 12 months, he produced for this magazine a piece on U.S.-Pakistani relations in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death, a portrait of Joan Didion, an essay on the Private Eyeretrospective at the Victoria and Albert Museum, a prediction about the future of democracy in Egypt, a meditation on the legacy of progressivism in Wisconsin, and a series of frank, graceful, and exquisitely written essays in which he chronicled the physical and spiritual effects of his disease. At the end, Hitchens was more engaged, relentless, hilarious, observant, and intelligent than just about everyone else—just as he had been for the last four decades.

“My chief consolation in this year of living dyingly has been the presence of friends,” he wrote in the June 2011 issue. He died in their presence, too, at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. May his 62 years of living, well, so livingly console the many of us who will miss him dearly.