Gore Vidal, over six decades, was a singular figure in the United States. Coming from a background of privilege and power, he nevertheless challenged many of the prevailing notions about Washington’s intentions and actions domestically and internationally. He was a student of history and incorporated his vast knowledge into a series of bestselling novels as well as political books. He coined the phrase USA, “the United States of Amnesia.” He was deeply troubled by the erosion of democracy and civil liberties at home and the expansion of American imperialism around the world. He saw the two joined at the hip. He was, as they say in cricket, an all arounder, someone who could play many positions with equal skill. He loved the arts, theater, and film and wrote plays and screenplays as well as acted in some. He died on July 31, 2012.