Richest CelebritiesAuthors
Net Worth:
$30 Million
Oct 3, 1925 - Jul 31, 2012 (86 years old)
West Point
Writer, Novelist, Playwright, Screenwriter, Essayist, Actor, Journalist, Author, Politician
United States of America
­čĺ░ Compare Gore Vidal's Net Worth

What was Gore Vidal's Net Worth?

Gore Vidal was an American writer who had a net worth of $30 million at the time of his death in 2012. Gore Vidal was known for his witty, incisive works interrogating social and cultural mores throughout history. Among his best-known novels are "The City and the Pillar," "Julian," "Myra Breckinridge," and "Lincoln." Beyond his writing, Vidal was significantly involved in politics, and unsuccessfully ran for the US House of Representatives and the US Senate in 1960 and 1982, respectively.

As a political essayist, Vidal's primary subject matter was the history of the United States and societal issues. Over the years, his political and cultural essays were published in The Nation, the New Statesman, the New York Review of Books, and Esquire magazine. As a novelist, Gore Vidal explored the nature of corruption in public and private life. In his third novel, The City and the Pillar, he offended the sensibilities of conservative book reviewers with the introduction of a male homosexual relationship. In Myra Breckinridge, he explored the gender roles and sexual orientation as social constructs established by social mores. He was no stranger to political feuds throughout the years, including famous feuds with Truman Capote, William F Buckley, and Norman Mailer.

He was briefly engaged to actress, Joanne Woodward, prior to her marrying Paul Newman, and had a rumored affair with Anais Nin. In 1950, Gore Vidal met Howard Austen, the man who became his life partner for 53 years. He said that the secret to his long relationship with Austen was that they did not have sex with each other. Reportedly, later in life, Gore Vidal suffered alcoholic encephalopathy, derived from the illness "Wernicke-Korsakoff, a syndrome characterized by a number of symptoms, including confusion and hallucinations. It was rumored that in the last nine years of his life, Vidal drank to excess, especially after the death of Austen in 2003. On July 31, 2012 Gore Vidal died at the age of 86 in the Hollywood Hills.

Early Life and Education

Gore Vidal was born as Eugene Vidal on October 3, 1925 in West Point, New York at the cadet hospital of the US Military Academy, where his father, Army officer and athlete Eugene Sr., was serving as the inaugural aeronautics instructor. His mother was socialite and actress Nina Gore, who divorced his father in 1935. The subsequent marriages of Vidal's parents resulted in nine half-siblings.

Raised in Washington, DC, Vidal attended Sidwell Friends School and St. Albans School; he was baptized by the headmaster of the latter when he was 13. Vidal subsequently attended the Los Alamos Ranch School in New Mexico before transferring to Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. Instead of going to college, he enlisted in the US Army when he was 17 and worked as an office clerk in the USAAF. Vidal later became a maritime warrant officer in the Transportation Corps, and after that was a first mate of an Army freight and supply ship in the Aleutian Islands.

Literary Career

Vidal began his literary career in 1946 with the military novel "Williwaw," which he had written during his service in World War II. It was a success. However, Vidal soon became controversial on account of his third novel, 1948's "The City and the Pillar," which caused a scandal for its frank depiction of a young man coming to terms with his homosexuality. Using the pseudonym Edgar Box, he went on to pen the mystery novels "Death in the Fifth Position," "Death Before Bedtime," and "Death Likes it Hot." He also wrote the satirical novel "Messiah," about the rise of a new, fictional nontheistic religion that comes to replace the Abrahamic faiths. Vidal's success led him to branch out to playwriting, resulting in the stage play "The Best Man" and the television plays "A Sense of Justice" and "Visit to a Small Planet." In the 1960s, he published such notable novels as "Julian," "Washington, D.C.," and "Myra Breckinridge," as well as the play "Weekend."

Vidal's literary works from the 1970s include the novels "Two Sisters," "Burr," "1876," "Myron," and "Kalki." He also wrote the play "An Evening With Richard Nixon." In the 1980s, he penned such novels as "Creation," "Duluth," "Lincoln," and "Empire," and wrote the essay anthology "Armageddon." Vidal continued authoring both fiction and non-fiction books in the 1990s; in the former category were "Hollywood," "Live from Golgotha," and "The Smithsonian Institution," and in the latter "United States: Essays 1952-92," which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction. In 2000, Vidal published "The Golden Age," the seventh and final book in his "Narratives of Empire" series. Also that year, he published the essay collection "The Last Empire." In 2009, Vidal won the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

Gore Vidal net worth

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Film Career

In 1956, Vidal was hired by MGM as a screenwriter. He was later hired by film director William Wyler to rewrite portions of the 1959 Biblical epic "Ben-Hur," which was originally written by Karl Tunberg. Much later in his career, Vidal came up with the story for the 1979 erotic historical film "Caligula," and wrote the screenplay to the 1989 television film "Billy the Kid." He also acted in some films, including "Bob Roberts," "With Honors," "Gattaca," and "Igby Goes Down."

Political Career

A noted liberal and member of the Democratic Party, Vidal ran for US Congress for the 29th Congressional District of New York in 1960. He ultimately lost to Republican J. Ernest Wharton. Vidal launched another campaign for office in 1982 when he ran for the US Senate from California; his campaign was the subject of the 1983 documentary "Gore Vidal: The Man Who Said No." That time, Vidal lost to Republican Pete Wilson.

Later in his life, Vidal was notable for his outspoken criticism of George W. Bush and his military interventionism and expansionism. He became a member of the board of advisors of the World Can't Wait, a political group that opposed the foreign policy program of the Bush administration and called for Bush's impeachment for war crimes.


Vidal was known to get into public feuds with other high-profile figures in the media. The most infamous was his feud with conservative writer William F. Buckley Jr., with whom he was paired as a political analyst on ABC television in the late 1960s. Vidal and Buckley traded vituperations and ad hominem attacks as they locked horns over many days on air while covering the 1968 presidential-nomination conventions. The feud continued over the years via essays published by both Vidal and Buckley in Esquire magazine. Among his other feuds, Vidal butted heads with authors Truman Capote and Norman Mailer.


With a predilection for cruising the streets and bars of New York City for sex, Vidal claimed to have had over 1,000 sexual encounters by the time he was 25. He also mentioned having a romantic relationship with actress Diana Lynn. In other major relationships, Vidal was briefly engaged to actress Joanne Woodward before she married Paul Newman. He also claimed to have slept with such famous men as Fred Astaire and Dennis Hopper. In 1950, Vidal met Howard Austen, who became his partner for the next 53 years until Austen passed away. Vidal asserted that the secret of their long-lasting relationship was the absence of sex. The couple resided in a 1929 villa in Outpost Estates, Los Angeles and in the Italian villa La Rondinaia on the Amalfi Coast.


Due to his years of abusing alcohol, Vidal began suffering from Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, a neurological disorder, in 2010. Two years later, on July 31, 2012, he passed away from pneumonia at his home in the Hollywood Hills. He was 86 years of age.

Hollywood Mansion

In 1977 Gore Vidal paid $149,500 for a mansion in Los Angeles. He listed the home for sale a year before his death for $3.5 million. It finally sold in January 2017 for $3.75 million.

La Rondinaia

Gore's most significant real estate asset was a cliff-top villa, set on 6.5 acres of the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Gore owned the home, which is known as La Rondinaia, from 1972 to 2006. He lived there full-time from 1993 until 2006. During those years Gore hosted countless celebrities for parties and dinners, including Mick Jagger, Paul Newman, Tennessee Williams, Andy Warhol, Bruce Springsteen and Greta Garbo. In 2004 Gore listed La Rondinaia for sale for 14 million euros. He sold it in 2006 to a local hotelier for an undisclosed amount. It is now used as a luxury wedding venue:

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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