Home / Biography / Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens


Broadly published author who harshly critiqued religion, Mother Teresa, Expenses and Hillary Clinton, and Henry Kissinger. He worked well like a journalist for a number of British magazines before shifting to America. He was defined as the champ of the brand new Atheism movement. He previously two kids, Alexander and Sophia, along with his 1st wife Eleni Meleagrou. He was significantly affected by Thomas Jefferson’s humanist philosophies.

Quick Facts

Full Name Christopher Hitchens
Date Of Birth April 13, 1949
Died December 15, 2011, Houston, Texas, United States
Place Of Birth England
Height 1.75 m
Profession Novelist
Education University of Oxford, The Leys School, Balliol College
Nationality British, American
Spouse Carol Blue, Eleni Meleagrou
Children Antonia Hitchens, Alexander Hitchens, Sophia Hitchens
Parents Yvonne Jean Hitchens, Eric Ernest Hitchens
Siblings Peter Hitchens
Awards Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction
Nominations National Book Award for Nonfiction, Goodreads Choice Awards Best Memoir & Autobiography
Movies Phil Ochs: There but for Fortune, Human Terrain: War Becomes Academic, Collision, Manufacturing Dissent, The Trials of Henry Kissinger, Hell's Angel
Star Sign Aries

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

1 Lampooned by comedy duo Mitchell and Webb.
2 Babysat actress Olivia Wilde when she was a child.
3 At the suggestion of his boss, "Vanity Fair" editor Graydon Carter, Hitchens agreed to undergo the controversial "waterboarding" interrogation procedure for purposes of hands-on research for the magazine. Even though Hitchens was professionally supervised throughout the session and could stop the procedure at any time, he lasted less than 20 seconds before giving the hand-signal to terminate the experiment.
4 He moved to the United States in 1981 where he became a naturalized citizen.
5 He was summoned to Athens, Greece in 1973 when his mother who left his father had committed suicide with her male partner. In 1987, he learned this mother was Jewish which she concealed from her husband and family.
6 He married a Greek Cypriot, Eleni Meleagiou. He is survived by their two children, Alexander Hitchens and Sophia Hitchens; his second wife, Carol Blue Hitchens and their daughter, Antonia Hitchens; and his brother, Peter Hitchens.
7 His family sent him to private schools in Tavistock in Tavistock, Devon, England and Cambridge School in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England. He graduated from Balliol College at Oxford University in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England in 1970.
8 Son of a career officer in the British Royal Navy who turned bookkeeper and his mother.
9 He left The Nation publication in 2003 after he publicly announced his support of the American invasion of Iraq.
10 His writing took him to Northern Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, Spain and Argentina in the 1970s reporting for The Nation, The New Statesman, and other British publications.
11 He died at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.
12 Contributing editor, Vanity Fair.
13 Came to the United States in 1981.
14 Studied at Oxford University.
15 Older brother of Peter Hitchens.



Christopher Hitchens' 'God Is Not Great' 2009 Short
Texas: America Supersized 2004 TV Movie documentary
The Trials of Henry Kissinger 2002 Documentary book "The Trial of Henry Kissinger"
Hell's Angel 1994 TV Movie documentary
Frontiers 1989 TV Series documentary writer - 1 episode



1968 2017 Short in memory of / special thanks
Pray with Us 2014 Short special thanks
Kike Like Me 2007 TV Movie documentary thanks
Tracking Down Maggie: The Unofficial Biography of Margaret Thatcher 1994 Documentary thanks
Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media 1992 Documentary acknowledgment
The Ploughman's Lunch 1983 thanks



1999: The Lost Story - Tailing the Millennium 2014 Documentary post-production Himself
Best of Enemies 2015 Documentary Himself
Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia 2013 Documentary Himself
Owned & Operated 2012 Documentary Himself
American Masters 2012 TV Series documentary Himself
Godless 2011 TV Series documentary
In Confidence 2011 TV Series documentary Himself
60 Minutes 2003-2011 TV Series documentary Himself (segment "Hitchens") / Himself - Author (segment "Sainthood")
Newsnight 2004-2010 TV Series Himself
Shmuley-Hitchens Face Off Debate: Is there an Afterlife? 2010 Video Himself
Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune 2010 Documentary Journalist / Author
Charlie Rose 1996-2010 TV Series Himself - Guest / Himself
The Daily Show 2004-2010 TV Series Himself
Real Time with Bill Maher 2003-2010 TV Series Himself / Himself - Guest
The Bible: A History 2010 TV Series documentary Himself - Author, 'God is not Great'
Holy Hell 2009 Himself
Collision: Christopher Hitchens vs. Douglas Wilson 2009 Video documentary Himself
Q&A 2009 TV Series Himself - Panellist
Fareed Zakaria GPS 2009 TV Series Himself
Christopher Hitchens' 'God Is Not Great' 2009 Short Himself
La traversée du désir 2009 Documentary Himself
President 2009/I Documentary Himself
Lost and Stolen Art 2009 TV Movie Himself
Fighting Words 2009 TV Movie documentary Himself
Hardball with Chris Matthews 2005-2008 TV Series Himself
US Election Night 2008 TV Movie Himself
Discussions with Richard Dawkins, Episode 1: The Four Horsemen 2008 Video documentary Himself
Hitchens vs Lennox: Can Atheism Save Europe? 2008 Video documentary Himself
Heckler 2007 Documentary Himself
Personal Che 2007 Documentary Himself
Your Mommy Kills Animals! 2007 Documentary Himself - Journalist
The Sunday Programme 2005-2007 TV Series Himself
Question Time 2007 TV Series Himself
Texas Monthly Talks 2007 TV Series Himself - Interviewee
Manufacturing Dissent 2007 Documentary Himself - Writer
Blog Wars 2006 TV Movie documentary Himself
American Zeitgeist 2006 Documentary Himself
This Week 2006 TV Series Himself
Jonathan Dimbleby 2003-2006 TV Series Himself
The Al Franken Show 2005 TV Series Himself
Penn & Teller: Bullshit! 2005 TV Series documentary Himself
Texas: America Supersized 2004 TV Movie documentary Himself
Late Review 2004 TV Series Himself - Panelist
Mel Gibson: God's Lethal Weapon 2004 TV Movie documentary Himself
Tavis Smiley 2004 TV Series Himself - Guest
This Week 2003 TV Series Himself
Hidden in Plain Sight 2003 Video documentary Interviewee
Dennis Miller Live 1999-2002 TV Series Himself
The Trials of Henry Kissinger 2002 Documentary Himself
Conversations with History 2002 TV Series Himself
Politically Incorrect 2001 TV Series Himself
The Sundays 1998 TV Series Himself
Diana: The Mourning After 1998 Documentary Himself
Hell's Angel 1994 TV Movie documentary Himself
Tracking Down Maggie: The Unofficial Biography of Margaret Thatcher 1994 Documentary Himself
Everything You Need to Know 1993 TV Series Himself - Host
Indecision '92: The Democratic National Convention 1992 TV Movie Himself
Witness: LA Divine 1990 TV Series documentary Himself
Firing Line 1990 TV Series Himself
Frontiers 1989 TV Series documentary Himself
Opinions 1984 TV Series Himself
Did You See..? 1980 TV Series documentary Himself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

The Drunken Peasants 2015 TV Series Himself
The Hitch 2014 Documentary Himself
Miss Representation 2011 Documentary Himself

Looks like we don't have awards information. Sorry!

Looks like we don't have salary information. Sorry!

1 [on Jerry Falwell's death] If you gave Falwell an enema he could be buried in a matchbox.
2 [If there is no God, why spend your whole career refuting that, why not stay home?] Well, it's not my whole career for one thing. It's become a major preoccupation of my life, though, in the last eight or nine years, especially since 9/11, to try and help generate an opposition to theocracy and its depredations internationally, that is now probably my main political preoccupation. To help people in Afghanistan, in Somalia, in Iraq, in Lebanon in Israel resist those who sincerely want to encompass the destruction of civilization and sincerely believe they have God on their side in wanting to do so. I think maybe I will take a few moments to say something I find repulsive about especially Monotheistic, Messianic religion, with a large part of itself it quite clearly wants us all to die, it wants this world to come to an end you can tell the yearning for things to be over, whenever you read any of its real texts, or listen to any of its real authentic spokesman, not the pathetic apologists who sometimes masquerade for it. Those who talk, there was a famous spokesman for this in Virginia until recently, about the Rapture, saying that those of us who have chosen rightly will be gathered to the arms of Jesus, leaving all of the rest of you behind: if we're in a car it's your lookout, that car won't have a driver anymore; if we're a pilot that's your lookout, that plane will crash; we will be with Jesus and the rest of you can go straight to Hell. The eschatological element that is inseparable from Christianity, if you don't believe that there is going to be an Apocalypse, there is going to be an end, a separation of the sheep and the goats, a condemnation, a final one, then you're not really a Believer and the contempt for the things of this world shows through all of them. It's well put in an old rhyme from an English exclusive Brethren sect: "We are the pure and chosen few, and all the rest are damned. There's room enough in hell for you, we don't want Heaven crammed!" You can tell it when you see the extreme Muslims talk, they cannot wait for death and destruction to overtake and overwhelm the World, they can't wait for what I would call without ambiguity a Final Solution. When you look at the Israeli settlers, paid for often by American tax dollars, deciding if they can steal enough land from other people and get all the Jews into the promised land and all the non-Jews out of it then finally the Jewish people will be worthy of the return of the Messiah, and there are Christians in this country who consider it their job to help this happen so that Armageddon can occur, so that the painful business of living as humans, and studying civilization, and trying to acquire learning, and knowledge, and health, and medicine, and to push back the frontiers can all be scrapped and the cult of death can take over. That to me is a hideous thing in eschatological terms, in End Times terms. On its own a hateful idea, a hateful practice, and a hateful theory but very much to be opposed in our daily lives where there are people who sincerely mean it, who want to ruin the good relations that could exist between different peoples, nations, races, countries, tribes, ethnicities; who openly say they love death more than we love life and who are betting that with God on their side that they're right about that. So when I say as a subtitle of my book that "Religion poisons everything", I'm not just doing what publishers like and coming up with a provocative subtitle. I mean to say it infects us in our most basic integrity, it says we can't be moral without Big Brother, without a totalitarian permission, it means we can't be good to one other, it means we can't think without this, we must be afraid, we must also be forced to love someone who we fear - the essence of sadomasochism, the essence of abjection, the essence of the master-slave relationship - and that knows that death is coming and can't wait to bring it on. I say that this is evil. And though I do some nights stay home, I enjoy more the nights when I go out and fight against this ultimate wickedness and ultimate stupidity. Thankyou. [Applause]
3 There is a story of a boor who kept boasting of a great leap he'd made in Rhodes. Finally, someone confronted him: "Hic Rhodus. Hic salta." Here is Rhodes, leap here.
4 Islam in its origins is just as shady and approximate as those from which it took its borrowings. It makes immense claims for itself, invokes prostrate submission or "surrender" as a maxim to its adherents, and demands deference and respect from nonbelievers into the bargain. There is nothing - absolutely nothing - in its teachings that can even begin to justify such arrogance and presumption.
5 If the Qur'an was the word of God, it had been dictated on a very bad day.
6 I became a journalist because I didn't want to have to rely on newspapers for my information.
7 Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely soley upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.
8 Modesty, simplicity, humility. By these canonical key words we are taught that we may recognize saints. Yet Mother Teresa regards herself as mandated by heaven, which is hardly modest. She lends spiritual solace to dictators and to wealthy exploiters which is scarcely the essence of simplicity. And she preaches surrender and prostration to the poor which a truly humble person would barely have the nerve to do. When she speaks about private or public morality, opposing family planning for example, or defining abortion as quite literally the greatest threat to world peace, she takes on the grim and tedious tones of the zealot and the fanatic. In a Godless and cynical age it may be inevitable that people will seek to praise the self-effacing, the altruistic and the pure in heart, but only a complete collapse of our critical faculties can explain the illusion that such a person is manifested in the shape of a demagogue, an obscurantist and a servant of earthly powers.
9 Like most people who claim to be apolitical, Mother Teresa is in practice and in theory an ally of the status quo. And when the status quo is threatened, a trusted ally of the conservative forces.
10 [Quoting Folke Greville] Oh, wearisome condition of humanity! Born under one law, to another bound; vainly begot and yet forbidden vanity; created sick, commanded to be sound.
11 The progress that's made... in any argument or in any discussion is by confrontation. That's a dialectical fact. People say oh let's have less heat and more light, fatuously. There's only one source of light. It happens to be heat.
12 Religion, it is true, still possesses the huge if cumbersome and unwieldy advantage of having come first.
13 Mockery of religion is one of the most essential things... one of the beginnings of human emancipation is the ability to laugh at authority.
14 Name me an ethical statement made or an action performed by a believer that could not have been made or performed by a non-believer.
15 All the excitements of a prohibited book had their usual effect, one of which, as always, is to expose the fact that the censors don't know what they are talking about.
16 You know, you can make a small mistake in language or etiquette in Britain, or you could when I was younger, and really be made to feel it, and it's the flick of a lash, but it would sting, and especially at school where there's not much privacy, and so on. You could, yes, undoubtedly be made to feel crushed.
17 On his death, Pope John Paul was praised among other things for the number of apologies he had made... This seemed to say that the Church had mainly been wrong and often criminal in the past, but was now purged of its sin by confession and quite ready to be infallible all over again.
18 The literal mind cannot understand the ironic one.
19 Those who offer false consolation are false friends.
20 Human decency is not the result of religion, it precedes it.
21 [to Charlton Heston, in a televised debate] Keep your hairpiece on.
22 [on the fatwa placed on Salman Rushdie because of his novel 'Satanic Verses'] He made, I will always feel, the ideal protagonist for this drama. If literature and the ironic mind are to be defended to the death, then it is as well to have a superbly literate and ironic individual as the case in point.
23 Dickens was able to mine this huge resource of London life, becoming the conductor and chronicler like nobody since Shakespeare himself.
24 [When asked to critique Ayn Rand] I'm invited to be unpleasant at the expense of Ayn Rand and Objectivism. Well, that's easy. Well, they're novels first, as I keep trying to say: there's more morality in a novel by George Elliott than in the four Gospels, or the four of them put together. I care very much about literature as a place where real dilemmas, ethical dilemmas are met and dealt with. So to have novels as transcendentally awful as ATLAS SHRUGGED and THE FOUNTAINHEAD sort of undermines my project.
25 I personally want to 'do' death in the active and not the passive. And to be there to look it in the eye and be doing something when it comes for me.
26 At 7 years old, I was precocious enough to watch the news and read the papers, and I can remember October 1956, the simultaneous crisis in Hungary and Suez, very well. And getting a sense that the world was dangerous, a sense that the game was up, that the Empire was over.
27 I don't care how rich you are. I'm not coming to your party.
28 [defending Salman Rushdie during his exile] It was, if I can phrase it like this, a matter of everything I hated versus everything I loved. In the hate column: dictatorship, religion, stupidity, demagogy, censorship, bullying and intimidation. In the love column: literature, irony, humor, the individual, and the defense of free expression.
29 Politics is essentially a matter of character.
30 [on believing in God while battling cancer] The entity making such a remark might be a raving, terrified person whose cancer has spread to the brain. I can't guarantee that such an entity wouldn't make such a ridiculous remark, but no one recognizable as myself would ever make such a remark.
31 In whatever kind of a 'race' life may be, I have abruptly become a finalist.
32 Writing is what's important to me, and anything that helps me do that--or enhances and prolongs and deepens and sometimes intensifies argument and conversation--is worth it to me. Impossible for me to imagine having my life without go to those parties, without having those late nights, without that second bottle.
33 [on believing in God in 2007] It would be like living in North Korea.
34 [on water boarding or a bikini wax] Very much more frightening though less painful than the bikini wax.
35 [on Iraq] There are a lot of people who will not be happy, it seems to me, until I am compelled to write a letter to these comrades in Iraq and say: 'Look, guys, it's been real, but I'm going to have to drop you now. The political cost to me is just too high.' Do I see myself doing this? No, I do not!
36 [on learning that he had incurable cancer] In whatever kind of a 'race' life may be, I have very abruptly become a finalist.
37 The noble title of 'dissent' must be earned rather than claimed. It connotes sacrifice and risk rather than mere disagreement.
38 [on Jerry Falwell] I think it's a pity there isn't a hell for him to go to. The empty life of this ugly little charlatan proves only one thing: that you can get away with the most extraordinary offenses to morality and to truth in this country if you'll just get yourself called Reverend. Who would, even at your network, have invited on such a little toad to tell us that the attacks of September 11th were the result of our sinfulness and were God's punishment if they hadn't got some kind of clerical qualification. People like that should be out in the street, shouting and hollering with a cardboard sign and selling pencils from a cup. The whole consideration of this horrible little person is offensive to very, very many of us who have some regard for truth and for morality and who think that ethics do not require that lies be told to children by evil old men, that we're not told that people who believe like Falwell will be snatched up into heaven - I'm glad to see he skipped the rapture and was found on the floor of his office - while the rest of us go to hell. Lots of people are going to die and are already leading miserable lives because of the nonsense preached by this man.
39 Europeans think Americans are fat, vulgar, greedy, stupid, ambitious and ignorant and so on. And they've taken as their own, as their representative American, someone (Michael Moore) who actually embodies all of those qualities.
40 The four most over-rated things in life are champagne, lobster, anal sex and picnics.
41 Faith is the surrender of the mind; it's the surrender of reason, it's the surrender of the only thing that makes us different from other mammals. It's our need to believe, and to surrender our skepticism and our reason, our yearning to discard that and put all our trust or faith in someone or something, that is the sinister thing to me. Of all the supposed virtues, faith must be the most overrated.
42 [on Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)] To describe this film as dishonest and demagogic would almost be to promote those terms to the level of respectability. To describe this film as a piece of crap would be to run the risk of a discourse that would never again rise above the excremental. To describe it as an exercise in facile crowd-pleasing would be too obvious. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness. It is also a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of 'dissenting' bravery.
43 Gore Vidal decided early on to become a European cosmopolitan rather than an "all-American" writer like Norman. So he is almost Jamesian in his fascination with English social niceties.'

1 Very rich and varied vocabulary
2 Defeating debate opponents with especially good points, known by fans as a "Hitchslap"
3 Deep, smooth voice
4 Outspoken and unabashed about his beliefs and views
5 Sarcastic sense of humor

Check Also

Jesse Boyle

Vocalist and guitarist in the all-brother quartet referred to as The Boyle Brothers together with …