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Christopher Eric Hitchens (13 April 1949 – 15 December 2011) was an English American author and journalist whose career spanned more than four decades. Hitchens, often referred to colloquially as "Hitch" was a columnist and literary critic for New Statesman, The Atlantic, The Nation, The Daily Mirror, The Times Literary Supplement, Free Inquiry, and Vanity Fair. He was an author of twelve books and five collections of essays. As a staple of talk shows and lecture circuits, he was a prominent public intellectual, and his confrontational style of debate made him both a lauded and controversial figure.