BBC News UK 16 December 2011 Last updated at 01:21 ET
Christopher Hitchens dies after battle with cancer (Norman Costa)
"Vanity Fair's editor said those who read him felt they knew him.
"British author, literary critic and journalist Christopher Hitchens has died, aged 62, according to Vanity Fair magazine.
"He died from pneumonia, a complication of the oesophageal cancer he was suffering from, at a Texas hospital.
"Vanity Fair said there would "never be another like Christopher".
"He is survived by his wife, Carol Blue, and their daughter, Antonia, and his children from a previous marriage, Alexander and Sophia.
"Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter described the writer as someone "of ferocious intellect, who was as vibrant on the page as he was at the bar".
""Those who read him felt they knew him, and those who knew him were profoundly fortunate souls."
"Mr Hitchens was born in Portsmouth in 1949 and graduated from Oxford in 1970.
"He began his career as a journalist in Britain in the 1970s and later moved to New York, becoming contributing editor to Vanity Fair in November 1992.
"He was diagnosed with cancer in June 2010, and had documented his declining health in his Vanity Fair column.
"In an August 2010 essay for the magazine he wrote: "I love the imagery of struggle.
""I sometimes wish I were suffering in a good cause, or risking my life for the good of others, instead of just being a gravely endangered patient."
"He wrote for numerous publications including The Times Literary Supplement, the Daily Express, the London Evening Standard, Newsday and The Atlantic.
"He was the author of 17 books, including The Trial of Henry Kissinger, God is not Great, How Religion Poisons Everything, and a memoir, Hitch-22.
"Arguably, a collection of his essays, was released this year.
""Prospect of death makes me sober, objective."
"Radicalised by the 1960s, Hitchens was often arrested at political rallies and was kicked out of the Labour Party over his opposition to the Vietnam War.
"He became a correspondent for International Socialism magazine.
"In later life he moved away from the left. Following the September 11 attacks he argued with Noam Chomsky and others who suggested that US foreign policy had helped cause the tragedy.
"He supported the Iraq War and backed George W Bush for re-election in 2004."