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Celebrated Author/Playwright Gore Vidal Dies At 86

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Jul. 31 2012, Published 1:00 p.m. ET

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By Staff

Legendary author/playwright Gore Vidal died Tuesday night at 86 at his Hollywood Hills, California home from pneumonia complications, has learned.

Vidal's nephew Burr Steers said he'd been ailing "quite a while."

Among Vidal's most celebrated works included the novels Lincoln and Myra Breckenridge, and the play The Best Man.

An outspoken critic of the political system, Vidal twice ran for office -- in 1960 for Congress, and in 1982 for governor of California -- but did not win.

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Vidal also tried his hand at acting, appearing in notable films such as 1992's Bob Roberts, 1994's With Honors and 1997's Gattaca.

Vidal was a cousin of former Vice President Al Gore and stepbrother of late First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Other celebs he was close to included Hillary Clinton, Paul Newman and Mick Jagger, as well as late legends such as Orson Welles, Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando.

Vidal had a long-term partner named Howard Austen, who he was with for more than 50 years, from 1950 until Austen died in November 2003.

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