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Christopher Hitchens

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The English American, Christopher Hitchens was a man of many talents. In addition to being a journalist, author and essayist, he also served as a literary critic and columnist for some of the most renowned publications including The Atlantic, Free Inquiry, The Nation, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair and World Affairs. For forty years, Hitchens’ essays, books and journalistic works contributed to world literature. Christopher Hitchens is mostly remembered for speaking his own mind and writing provocative essays challenging the philosophies of the church and state.

An accomplished man, Hitchens was voted the world’s fifth top public intellectual in a Prospect/Foreign Policy poll. For a long time, Hitchens remained a significant figure featuring with his confrontational style of debate in numerous talk shows on television. In 2008, Hitchens became a media fellow at the Hoover Institution. Always touching controversial subjects and topics, Hitchens never hesitated to voice out his opinions. While he spoke and wrote a lot in admiration of personalities such as Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine and George Orwell, Hitchens also, on the other hand, never hesitate to openly declare his dislike for Mother Teresa, Henry Kissinger, Hillary Clinton and the British Royal family by criticizing them harshly. A self defined radical, a keen political observer and a polemicist, traits that brought him fame along with his linkage to left-wing publications in both Britain and the United States. In 1989, Hitchens began separation from politics in reaction to Ayatollah Khomeini’s demand to murder Salman Rushdie. After the attacks of September 11, 2001, Hitchens strongly supported the United States’ interventionist foreign policy. Although he denied being a conservative, Hitchens had been labeled as a neoconservative following numerous editorials he published in support of the war in Iraq.

Hitchens was a firm believer in the non-existence of God. He was a prominent figure of the New Atheism movement who believed in the philosophical values of enlightenment. Hitchens liked to describe himself as an antitheist, disapproving the concept of God as a supreme being. According to him, this is a totalitarian belief which goes against personal freedom. Hitchens often proposed that free expression and scientific discovery should replace religion as a means of teaching ethics and defining human civilization. His book, God Is Not Great (2007) clearly suggests all his antitheist views.

Christopher Hitchens was born on April 13, 1949. A young Hitchens attended the Mount House School in Tavistock in Devon and also Leys School in Cambridge after which he studied politics, economics and philosophy at Balliol College in Oxford. Hitchens joined the political left in 1960s and later became a member of the Labour Party in 1965. Five years later, in 1970 began his journalistic career, taking a start from the magazine, International Socialism. In 1981, Hitchen moved to the United States, where he spent the rest of his life. For eight years, Hitchens was married to Eleni Meleagrou, with whom he had two children. His second marriage was with the writer Carol Blue, who remained his wife till Hitchen’s death. The couple had one daughter.

On April 13, 2007, Hitchens’ 58th birthday, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States but also retained his British nationality. While on the tour for his memoir Hitch-22 (2010), Hitchens was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He died on December 15, 2011 in the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.

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