The family of American novelist Gore Vidal has announced that he has passed away in Los Angeles.

The author, playwright, essayist, screenwriter, and outspoken political activist was one of the first writers to feature unambiguous homosexuality in his work.

He wrote 25 novels, five plays and more than 200 essays during his career.

His book The City and the Pillar was famously denied a review by The New York Times in 1948 for its gay themes.

A confidant of Tennessee Williams and Christopher Isherwood, Vidal had affairs with both men and women during the course of his life and had a long public feud with gay author Truman Capote.

“Capote I truly loathed. The way you might loathe an animal. A filthy animal that has found its way into the house,” he told The Independent in 2008.

He died of complications from pneumonia on Tuesday. He was 86.

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