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Gore Vidal: the last American aristocrat

By Tom Streithorst  

Photo of Vidal by Carl Van Vechten, 1948 Source: Library of Congress

He could have been President. That was the job his Grandfather, the blind Senator Thomas Gore of Oklahoma, raised him to fill. He wrote his first novel at 19 while serving in the Army during World War II. In 1948, he made a conscious choice to renounce his political ambition by writing The City and the Pillar, a novel about a young man discovering his homosexuality. It caused a scandal and for a while, he…

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