The death of writer and cultural critic Gore Vidal on Tuesday, at the age of 86, means many are trying today to capture that man of words' life in just a few phrases:
-- He was an "elegant, acerbic all-around man of letters who presided with a certain relish over what he declared to be the end of American civilization," says The New York Times.
-- The Los Angeles Times calls Vidal an "iconoclastic author, savvy analyst and glorious gadfly on the national conscience."
-- To The Washington Post, he was "a celebrated writer, cultural gadfly and occasional political candidate."
The BBC, meanwhile, has pulled together a collection of Vidal's best quotes, including this one that has Vidal speaking about himself:
"There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise."
According to The Associated Press, Gore's nephew Burr Steers says his uncle died last evening in Hollywood Hills, Calif., from complications related to pneumonia.