Journalist, writer and outspoken atheist Christopher Hitchins has died aged 62.
The Vanity Fair writer was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer last year and died at the MD Anderson Cancer Centre in Houston, Texas where he had been undergoing chemotherapy.
Tributes poured in from the writing community, led by Booker prize-winning author Salman Rushdie.
"Goodbye, my beloved friend. A great voice falls silent. A great heart stops.
"Christopher Hitchens, April 13, 1949-December 15, 2011."
Piers Morgan paid tribute to the "greatest literary provocateur of my lifetime" adding: "Huge talent, huge loss."
Oxford graduate Christopher was born in Portsmouth in 1949.
He started out as a journalist in Britain in the seventies before moving to New York, becoming a contributing editor to Vanity Fair in 1992.
The publication said there would "never be another like Christopher".
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