Remembering Writers Who Left Us in 2012

We look back and remember the many authors who died this year, from Gore Vidal to Nora Ephron.

Gore Vidal, 86 (Oct. 3, 1925, to July 31, 2012)The wicked wit was one of the last survivors from the golden age of American letters. Writers from Nathaniel Rich to Morris Dickstein pay tribute.

Nora Ephron, 71(May 19, 1941, to June 26, 2012)She could do it all: directing, screenwriting, journalism, humor, novels. Friends remember her.

Carlos Fuentes, 83(November 11, 1928 to May 15, 2012)

The Mexican novelist was one of the icons of the Latin American explosion “El Boom.” Mac Margolis and Lorenza Muñoz on the literary father.

Ray Bradbury, 91(Aug. 22, 1920, to June 5, 2012)Science fiction was not the same after Fahrenheit 451. Our obituary.

Maurice Sendak, 83(June 10, 1928, to May 8, 2012)Every American knows Where the Wild Things Are. Our obituary.

Helen Gurley Brown, 90 (Feb. 18, 1922 to Aug. 13, 2012)Brown was editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan for 32 years. Our coverage.

Robert Hughes, 74 (July 28, 1938, to Aug. 6, 2012)The hulking Australian-born art critic had a powerful voice and love of verbal combat. His friend Simon Schama remembers him.

Adrienne Rich, 82 (May 16, 1929, to March 27, 2012)One of the most influential poets of our time.

David Rakoff, 47 (Nov. 27, 1964, to Aug. 9, 2012)The humorist and journalist died in New York after a long battle with cancer. His best quotes.

Eric Hobsbawn, 95 (June 9, 1917 to Oct. 1, 2012)The British Marxist historian chronicled the troubled 20th century with great insight.

Jacques Barzun, 104 (Nov. 20, 1907 to Oct. 25, 2012)The French-born cultural historian published his magnum opus, From Dawn to Decadence, when he was 93. Paul Devlin remembers Barzun remembering Robert Pitney.

Get The Beast In Your Inbox!

Daily Digest

Start and finish your day with the top stories from The Daily Beast.

Cheat Sheet

A speedy, smart summary of all the news you need to know (and nothing you don't).

By clicking “Subscribe,” you agree to have read the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
Thank You!
You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest and Cheat Sheet. We will not share your email with anyone for any reason.

Charles Rosen, 85 (May 5, 1927, to Dec. 9, 2012)The pianist and music critic’s collection of cascading essays, Freedom and the Arts, came out earlier this year.

Wislawa Szymborska, 88 (July 2, 1923, to Feb. 1, 2012)The Polish poet won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996. Andrew Sullivan offers two poems to remember her by.

Alexander Cockburn, 71 (June 6, 1941, to July 21, 2012)Michael Tomasky remembers working for the radical journalist and columnist for The Nation.

David Oliver Relin, 49 (Dec. 12, 1962, to Nov. 15, 2012)The American journalist helped write the controversial “memoir” Three Cups of Tea—he was widely considered innocent of the lying of which coauthor Greg Mortenson was accused. Our obituary.

Andrew Breitbart, 43 (Feb. 1, 1969, to March 1, 2012)David Frum on the culture war that the conservative blogger, who died suddenly in Los Angeles, unleashed. His coroner’s technician also died weeks later.

Barney Rosset, 89 (May 28, 1922, to Feb. 21, 2012)Louisa Thomas’s 2008 profile of the publisher who bought D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Samuel Becket’s Waiting for Godot, and Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer.

John Keegan, 78 (May 15, 1934, to Aug. 2, 2012)Newsweek’s review of the military historian’s A History of Warfare.

Marion Cunningham, 90 (Feb. 11, 1922, to Aug. 11, 2012)The food writer who revised The Fannie Farmer Cookbook.

James Q. Wilson, 80 (May 27, 1931, to March 4, 2012)David Frum on the political scientist who introduced the “broken windows theory.”

John Turner Sargent, Sr., 87 (June 26, 1924, to Feb. 5, 2012)The man who made Doubleday into a giant of the publishing industry.

Keiji Nakazawa, 73 (March 14, 1939, to Dec. 19, 2012)The Japanese manga artist who created the groundbreaking Barefoot Gen graphic novels.

Jean Craighead George, 92 (July 2, 1919, to May 15, 2012)The writer of more than a hundred children’s books, including the Newbery Medal-winning Julie of the Wolves.

Doris Betts, 79(June 4, 1931, to April 21, 2012)The novelist who wrote the collection Beasts of the Southern Wild and Other Stories.

Harry Crews, 76 (June 7, 1935, to March 28, 2012)The American writer of dark fiction.

Larry L. King, 83(Jan. 1, 1929, to Dec. 20, 2012)The playwright best known for The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

James Fogle, 75 (Sept. 29, 1936, to Aug. 23, 2012)The author of the autobiographical novel Drugstore Cowboy.

Philip L. Fradkin, 77 (Feb. 28, 1935, to July 8, 2012)A writer who chronicled the environmental destruction in the West.

Jean Merrill, 89 (Jan. 27, 1923, to Aug. 2, 2012)The children’s author best known for The Pushcart War.

Maeve Binchy, 72 (May 28, 1940, to July 30, 2012)One of Ireland’s most popular novelists.

Donald J. Sobol, 87 (Oct. 4, 1924, to July 11, 2012)The author of the Encyclopedia Brown books.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article left off the great Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes. We regret the oversight.