British writer Christopher Hitchens dies: Vanity Fair

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The British writer and firebrand columnist Christopher Hitchens has died at the age of 62 after a battle against cancer of the esophagus, Vanity Fair announced on its website early Friday.

Hitchens, who began his journalistic career in Britain before moving to the United States where he enjoyed great success, was diagnosed with the disease in June 2010, and had documented his declining health in his Vanity Fair column.

In announcing his death, Vanity Fair described the writer as "incomparable critic, masterful rhetorician, fiery wit, and fearless bon vivant."

Hitchens was diagnosed with cancer soon after the publication of his memoir, "Hitch-22," and began chemotherapy soon after.

His "matchless prose" had appeared in Vanity Fair since 1992, when he was named contributing editor, the magazine said in an online article headlined: "In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011."

© 2011 AFP

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