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Writer Christopher Hitchens dies from pneumonia

In this Sept. 14, 2005 file photo, British essayist Christopher Hitchens speaks during a debate in New York. (AP Photo/Chad Rachman, File)

December 15, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Vanity Fair Contributing Editor Christopher Hitchens has died from pneumonia, Conde Nast announced Thursday night.

"It is with tremendous sadness that Vanity Fair announces the death of our contributing editor and dear friend Christopher Hitchens. Christopher died today from pneumonia, a complication of esophageal cancer, at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston," Vanity Fair announced in a statement Thursday night. He was 62.

Hitchens won the 2011 National Magazine Award for Columns and Commentary.

Hitchens was a prolific magazine and newspaper writer as well as author of 17 books, including "The Trial of Henry Kissinger (2001)" and "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (2007)."

Hitchens was born in 1949 in Portsmouth, England. He graduated from Oxford University in 1970. He began at Vanity Fair as a contributing editor in November 1992.

"There will never be another like Christopher. A man of ferocious intellect, who was as vibrant on the page as he was at the bar," said Vanity Fair Editor Graydon Carter. "Those who read him felt they knew him, and those who knew him were profoundly fortunate souls."