According to the BBC Teletext, Gore Vidal has died in Los Angeles at the age of 86.

His best known novels include Julian, Lincoln, Burr and Myra Breckinridge, and he was also known (better in the States than in the rest of the world, perhaps) as an essayist and political commentator who seemed to court controversy. Whatever one thinks of his views, we've lost a great literary talent.
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