Christopher Hitchens Died (1949-2011)

Little known fact: He often enjoyed plotting to kill James Bond.

Prolific, controversial, firebrand, genius drunk Christopher Hitchens died this morning after a lengthy battle with esophageal cancer, according to Vanity Fair, a longtime source of his writing. While I didn’t always agree with the man, specifically his cheerleading of the Iraq War, there was no denying his razor sharp wit and intellect, not to mention his incredible capacity to absorb scotch like it’s goddamn oxygen:

He was a man of insatiable appetites—for cigarettes, for scotch, for company, for great writing, and, above all, for conversation. That he had an output to equal what he took in was the miracle in the man. You’d be hard-pressed to find a writer who could match the volume of exquisitely crafted columns, essays, articles, and books he produced over the past four decades. He wrote often—constantly, in fact, and right up to the end—and he wrote fast; frequently without the benefit of a second draft or even corrections. I can recall a lunch in 1991, when I was editing The New York Observer, and he and Aimée Bell, his longtime editor, and I got together for a quick bite at a restaurant on Madison, no longer there. Christopher’s copy was due early that afternoon. Pre-lunch canisters of scotch were followed by a couple of glasses of wine during the meal and a similar quantity of post-meal cognac. That was just his intake. After stumbling back to the office, we set him up at a rickety table and with an old Olivetti, and in a symphony of clacking he produced a 1,000-word column of near perfection in under half an hour.

People often think I get shit-hammered drunk and write the site, but true story, if I have more than two beers there’s a 95% chance I’ll almost instantly be asleep on the couch with Storage Wars blaring in the background making me the complete and absolute antithesis of Christopher Hitchens unless he, too, was a reluctant fan of seeing people pretend to find the head of General Custer in an Irvine storage locker.

Rest in Peace, Hitch.

Photo: Getty