Christopher Hitchens, 1949–2011, R. I. P.

December 29, 2011

Christopher Hitchens, one of the New Atheists and the author of God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, has died.  He learned last year that he had esophageal cancer.  He died earlier this month.  He was 62.

His brother, Peter Hitchens, author of The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led Me to Faith, has written a first eulogy for his brother.

Christopher Hitchens, reflecting on his approaching death, observed (in a fascinating and sometimes moving two-day interview for The Telegraph) that one day the newspapers would come out, like any other day, but he wouldn’t be there to read them:

And on that day, I’ve realised recently, I’ll probably be in the newspapers, or quite a lot of them. And etiquette being what it is, generally speaking, rather nice things being said about me. Just typical that will be the edition I miss. But it’s not so much that; it’s more that you’re at the party and you’re tapped on the shoulder and told you have to leave. The party is still going on, but it’s going on without you.

God rest him.

 

Other obituaries:

New York Times (2,100 words)

The Guardian (2,400)

Vanity Fair, where he was a contributing editor (250)

Washington Post (1,800)

The Telegraph (450)

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