Eugene Luther Gore Vidal ( born Eugene Louis Vidal', October 3, 1925 – July 31, 2012) was an American writer known for his essays, novels, screenplays, and Broadway plays. As a well-known public intellectual, he was known for his patrician manner and witty aphorisms. Vidal's grandfather was the U.S. Senator Thomas Gore of Oklahoma.
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. He developed this into a portrayal of the United States as a decaying empire from the 1980s onwards. He was also known for well-publicized spats with such figures as Norman Mailer, William F. Buckley, Jr. and Truman Capote.