British-born author, literary critic and journalist Christopher Hitchens has died at the age of 62.
He died from pneumonia, a complication of the oesophageal cancer he was suffering from, at a Texas hospital.
Vanity Fair magazine, which announced his death, said there would “never be another like Christopher”.
He maintained his devout atheism after being diagnosed with cancer in 2010, telling one interviewer: “No evidence or argument has yet been presented which would change my mind. But I like surprises.”
The author and prominent atheist Richard Dawkins described him as the “finest orator of our time” and a “valiant fighter against all tyrants including God”.
He said Hitchens had been a “wonderful mentor in a way”.
“He encouraged me and I shall miss him terribly and so will everybody who values the life of the intellect, of rationality of reason,” said Mr Dawkins.
The world has lost one of its brightest and iconic intellectuals advocating for rational/critical thinking. He articulately conveyed a message of reason rather than superstition, and he will be missed.