He often pissed me off. He often made me laugh. He was never remotely boring. This was a unique individual in a world where there are not many. I like this short note from Charles P. Pierce at Esquire:
I met Christopher Hitchens only one time [….] I was working for an alternative newspaper in Boston at the time, and I was hanging out with Alexander Cockburn, then of the Village Voice. We escaped to the lounge of the hotel, possibly because running screaming into the streets out of pure revulsion would have been undignified, and Hitchens was there. Cockburn introduced me, and Hitchens gave me that low-running smile. “Greetings, comrade,” he said. He talked for the next three hours. It was damned impressive.
I never saw him again. But I followed his work.
He died last night. This craft is very much the poorer for his loss. I got that one evil grin and three hours conversation. I was a comrade for the afternoon. I was very, very lucky.
Regardless of what you thought of his views on this or that, the world is a less interesting place today. The New York Times obit is here.