72 Facts About Christopher Hitchens


Christopher Eric Hitchens was a British-American author and journalist who is widely regarded as one of the most influential atheists of the 20th and 21st centuries.


Christopher Hitchens was critical of aspects of American foreign policy, including its involvement in Vietnam, Chile and East Timor.


Christopher Hitchens held complex views on abortion; being ethically opposed to it in most instances, and believing that a fetus was entitled to personhood, while holding ambiguous, changing views on its legality.


Christopher Hitchens supported gun rights and LGBT rights while opposing the War on Drugs.


Christopher Hitchens described himself as an anti-theist and saw all religions as false, harmful and authoritarian.


Christopher Hitchens argued for free expression, scientific discovery, and the separation of church and state, arguing that they were superior to religion as an ethical code of conduct for human civilisation.


Christopher Hitchens notably wrote critical biographies of Catholic nun Mother Teresa in The Missionary Position, President Bill Clinton in No One Left To Lie To, and American diplomat Henry Kissinger in The Trial of Henry Kissinger.


Christopher Hitchens died from complications related to oesophageal cancer in December 2011, at the age of 62.


Christopher Hitchens was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, the elder of two boys; his brother, Peter, became a socially conservative journalist.


Christopher Hitchens's mother had been a Wren, a member of the Women's Royal Naval Service.


Christopher Hitchens was of Jewish origin, something Hitchens discovered when he was 38; he came to identify as a Jew.


Christopher Hitchens was admitted to Balliol College, Oxford in 1967 where he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics and was tutored by Steven Lukes and Anthony Kenny.


Christopher Hitchens expressed affinity with the politically charged countercultural and protest movements of the 1960s and 1970s.


Early in his career Christopher Hitchens began working as a correspondent for the magazine International Socialism, published by the International Socialists, the forerunners of today's British Socialist Workers Party.


In 1971 after spending a year travelling the United States on a scholarship, Christopher Hitchens went to work at the Times Higher Education Supplement where he served as a social science correspondent.


In 1973 Christopher Hitchens went to work for the New Statesman, where his colleagues included the authors Martin Amis, whom he had briefly met at Oxford, as well as Julian Barnes and James Fenton, with whom he had shared a house in Oxford.


At the New Statesman Christopher Hitchens acquired a reputation as a left-winger while working as a war correspondent from areas of conflict such as Northern Ireland, Libya, and Iraq.


In November 1973, while in Greece, Christopher Hitchens reported on the constitutional crisis of the military junta.


In December 1977 Christopher Hitchens interviewed Argentine dictator Jorge Rafael Videla, a conversation he later described as "horrifying".


In 1977, unhappy at the New Statesman, Christopher Hitchens defected to the Daily Express where he became a foreign correspondent.


Christopher Hitchens returned to the New Statesman in 1978 where he became assistant editor and then foreign editor.


Christopher Hitchens went to the United States in 1981 as part of an editor exchange programme between the New Statesman and The Nation.


Christopher Hitchens became a contributing editor of Vanity Fair in 1992, writing ten columns a year.


Christopher Hitchens left The Nation in 2002 after profoundly disagreeing with other contributors over the Iraq War.


In 1987, Christopher Hitchens's father died from cancer of the oesophagus, the same disease that would later claim his own life.


Christopher Hitchens became a media fellow at the Hoover Institution in September 2008.


Christopher Hitchens spent part of his early career in journalism as a foreign correspondent in Cyprus.


Christopher Hitchens's son, Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens, born in 1984, has worked as a policy researcher in London.


Christopher Hitchens continued writing essay-style correspondence pieces from a variety of locales, including Chad, Uganda and the Darfur region of Sudan.


Christopher Hitchens met Carol Blue in Los Angeles in 1989 and they married in 1991.


Christopher Hitchens later responded to his ranking with a few articles about his status as such.


In 2007, Christopher Hitchens published one of his most controversial articles entitled "Why Women Aren't Funny" in Vanity Fair.


Amid further criticism, Christopher Hitchens reiterated his position in a video and written response.


Christopher Hitchens was a finalist in the same category in 2008 for some of his columns in Slate but lost out to Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone.


Christopher Hitchens won the National Magazine Award for Columns about Cancer in 2011.


Christopher Hitchens served on the advisory board of Secular Coalition for America and offered advice to the Coalition on the acceptance and inclusion of nontheism in American life.


In December 2011, prior to his death, Asteroid 57901 Christopher Hitchens was named after him.


Christopher Hitchens wrote a monthly essay in The Atlantic and occasionally contributed to other literary journals.


Christopher Hitchens said in 2005 the main difference between the two is belief in the existence of God.


Peter became a member of the International Socialists from 1968 to 1975 after Christopher Hitchens introduced him to them.


In 2009 Christopher Hitchens was listed by Forbes magazine as one of the "25 most influential liberals in the US media".


Christopher Hitchens later became a so-called liberal hawk and supported the War on Terror, but he had some reservations, such as his characterisation of waterboarding as torture after voluntarily undergoing the procedure.


Christopher Hitchens was an avid critic of President Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia and other Serbian politicians of the 1990s.


Christopher Hitchens called Milosevic a "fascist" and a "nazi" after the Bosnian genocide and ethnic cleansing of Albanians in Kosovo and expressed a positive reaction to his death.


Christopher Hitchens often accused the Serbian government of committing numerous war crimes during the Yugoslav Wars.


Christopher Hitchens denounced people like Noam Chomsky and Edward S Herman, who criticized the NATO intervention there.


Christopher Hitchens held complex views on abortion; being ethically opposed to it in most instances, and believing that a fetus was entitled to personhood, while holding ambiguous and changing views on its legality.


Christopher Hitchens wrote book-length biographical essays on Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine and George Orwell.


Christopher Hitchens became known for excoriating criticisms of public contemporary figures, including Mother Teresa, Bill Clinton and Henry Kissinger, the subjects of three full-length texts: The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice, No One Left to Lie To: The Triangulations of William Jefferson Clinton, and The Trial of Henry Kissinger respectively.


In 2007, while promoting his book God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Christopher Hitchens described the Christian evangelist Billy Graham as "a self-conscious fraud" and "a disgustingly evil man".


In 1999, Christopher Hitchens wrote a profile of Donald Trump for The Sunday Herald.


Christopher Hitchens said that organised religion is "the main source of hatred in the world", calling it "violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children: [it] ought to have a great deal on its conscience".


Christopher Hitchens was made an Honorary Associate of the Rationalist International and the National Secular Society shortly after its release and he was later named to the Honorary Board of distinguished achievers of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.


Christopher Hitchens joined the advisory board of the Secular Coalition for America, a group of atheists and humanists.


Christopher Hitchens said he would accept an invitation from any religious leader who wished to debate with him.


On 4 April 2009, Christopher Hitchens debated William Lane Craig on the existence of God at Biola University.


John Onaiyekan and Ann Widdecombe argued that it was, while Christopher Hitchens joined Stephen Fry in arguing that it was not.


On 26 November 2010, Christopher Hitchens appeared in Toronto, Ontario, at the Munk Debates, where he debated religion with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, a convert to Roman Catholicism.


Blair argued religion is a force for good, while Christopher Hitchens argued against that.


Christopher Hitchens was raised nominally Christian and attended Christian boarding schools, but from an early age he declined to participate in communal prayers.


Later in life, Christopher Hitchens discovered that he was of Jewish descent on his mother's side and that his Jewish ancestors were immigrants from Eastern Europe.


Christopher Hitchens was married twice, first to Eleni Meleagrou, a Greek Cypriot, in 1981; the couple had a son Alexander and a daughter Sophia.


In 1991 Christopher Hitchens married his second wife, Carol Blue, an American screenwriter, in a ceremony held at the apartment of Victor Navasky, editor of The Nation.


In November 1973 Christopher Hitchens's mother committed suicide in Athens in a pact with her lover, a defrocked clergyman named Timothy Bryan.


Christopher Hitchens flew alone to Athens to recover his mother's body, initially under the impression that she had been murdered.


On June 8,2010, Christopher Hitchens was on tour in New York promoting his memoirs Hitch-22 when he was taken into emergency care suffering from a severe pericardial effusion.


Christopher Hitchens died of pneumonia on 15 December 2011 in the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, aged 62.


Christopher Hitchens was fearless in the pursuit of truth and any cause in which he believed.


Christopher Hitchens was an extraordinary, compelling and colourful human being whom it was a privilege to know.


Christopher Hitchens had the courage to accept the world for just what it is and not what he wanted it to be.


Christopher Hitchens understood that the universe doesn't care about our existence or welfare, and he epitomized the realization that our lives have meaning only to the extent that we give them meaning.


The tragedy of Christopher Hitchens's illness is that it came at a time when he enjoyed a larger audience than ever.