Freethought of the Day

Would you like to start your day on a freethought note? Freethought of the Day is a daily freethought calendar brought to you courtesy of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, highlighting birthdates, quotes, and other historic tidbits.

As a member, to receive Freethought of the Day in your email inbox, contact us here. To become an FFRF member, click here. To learn more about FFRF, request information here.


There are 1 entries for this date: Gore Vidal
Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal

On this date in 1925, writer Eugene Louis Vidal was born at West Point, N.Y., where his father was the first aeronautics instructor at the U.S. Military Academy. (He dropped his first and middle names when he was 14, exchanging them for Gore.) He largely grew up in the home of his grandfather, Sen. Thomas P. Gore, D-Okla. He graduated from Philips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire and joined the Enlisted Reserve Corps. His first novel, Williwaw, was published when he was only 19. It was followed by the wave-making The City and the Pillar (1948), which featured a sympathetic gay protagonist. Vidal was the prolific author of many other novels and plays, many based on history and politics, and worked in TV and the movies. Novels include Julian (1964), Myra Breckenridge (1968), Burr (1974), and Live from Golgotha (1992), an irreverent satire imagining New Testament events if reported on TV. The cousin of Al Gore, he made some political runs, including a try for the U.S. Senate seat in California in which he came in second out of nine in the 1982 race. Vidal was perhaps best-known as a public intellectual and for his refreshing and acerbic interviews and one-liners, such as his famous remark about Ronald Reagan: "A triumph of the embalmer's art." "Probably no American writer since Franklin has derided, ridiculed, and mocked Americans more skillfully and more often than Vidal," wrote Gordon S. Wood (The New York Times, December 14, 2003). Vidal's essays, such as "Pink Triangle and Yellow Star" (1981), are collected in Armageddon (1987). Palimpsest (1995) was his well-received autobiography. Vidal rarely missed a chance to diss religion or monotheism: "I regard monotheism as the greatest disaster ever to befall the human race. I see no good in Judaism, Christianity, or Islam." (letter to Warren Allen Smith, 1954, Who's Who in Hell). Died July 31, 2012. 

“Christianity is such a silly religion.”

—Gore Vidal, Time magazine, Sept. 28, 1992

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor; Photo by Tinseltown, Shutterfly.com

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

FFRF is a non-profit, educational organization. All dues and donations are deductible for income-tax purposes.

FFRF has received a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator

FFRF is a member of the Secular Coalition for America

FFRF privacy statement