Christopher Hitchens, the British- born journalist at home in the middle of U.S. political disputes including Bill Clinton’s infidelity, the war in Iraq and the role of organized religion, has died. He was 62.

Hitchens died yesterday at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, Vanity Fair magazine reported on its website. That was the same day the U.S. marked the end of its nine-year war in Iraq, which first brought Hitchens to the attention of many American readers.

In June 2010, while publicizing a memoir, “Hitch-22,” he was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus. He chronicled his illness in Vanity Fair while copping to the role that his tobacco habit likely played. As he wrote in 2007: “My keystone addiction is to cigarettes, without which cocktails and caffeine (and food) are meaningless.” Vanity Fair won a 2011 National Magazine Award for Hitchens’s columns about his illness.

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