Gore Vidal has died. One of the most celebrated American writers of his generation passed away at the age of 86 at his home in the Hollywood Hills due to complications cause by pneumonia.

The multi-talented Vidal was a novelist, essayist and playwright, best remembered for his outspokenness and scorn for popular culture and politics as much as he is for his 60-year writing career.

He was also known for being one of the first American writers to unambiguously embrace homosexuality and it's counter-culture, causing outrage amongst critics and right-wing opponents of homosexuality. His 1948 work The City and the Pillar was years ahead of itself in terms of content - dealing frankly and positively with homosexual love.

He remained a campaigner of LGBT right until his twilight years and lived with his partner of five decades Howard Austin until his passing in 2003.

Gore Vidal's talents didn't just extend through writing though as he also worked in politics throughout much of life, campaigning for the Democratic Party and vocally criticising the office of George W. Bush Jnr.

He was also fraternised with the rich and famous for much of his life befriending JOHN F. Kennedy and actors such as Susan Sarandon, Paul Newman and Eli Wallach throughout his life.

More recently he remained in the public eye with his appearances on numerous television shows such as The Simpsons, Family Guy and Da Ali G Show, in which Sacha Baron Cohen's character humorously mistook him for Vidal Sassoon.