Unlike many others though, most paying their respects chose Vidal's own words to commemorate him.
While it seems reductive to narrow down his works to a few soundbites, Gore Vidal had such a wonderful turn of phrase that the temptation is overwhelming. Here, via Wikiquote, are some of his best.
"Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies."
"It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail."
"Never pass up a chance to have sex or appear on television."
"We're supposed to procreate and society, God knows, is ferocious on the subject. Heterosexuality is considered such a great and natural good that you have to execute people and put them in prison if they don't practice this glorious act."
"We should stop going around babbling about how we're the greatest democracy on earth, when we're not even a democracy. We are a sort of militarised republic. The founding fathers hated two things, one was monarchy and the other was democracy, they gave us a constitution that saw to it we will have neither. I don't know how wise they were."
"Everybody likes a bit of gossip to some point, as long as it's gossip with some point to it. That's why I like history. History is nothing but gossip about the past, with the hope that it might be true."
"We must always remember that the police are recruited from the criminal classes."
"As the age of television progresses the Reagans will be the rule, not the exception. To be perfect for television is all a President has to be these days."
"American writers want to be not good but great; and so are neither."
"The more money an American accumulates the less interesting he himself becomes."
"The United States was founded by the brightest people in the country - and we haven't seen them since."
"Television is a great leveller. You always end up sounding like the people who ask the questions."
"Actually, there is no such thing as a homosexual person, any more than there is such a thing as a heterosexual person. The words are adjectives describing sexual acts, not people. The sexual acts are entirely normal; if they were not, no-one would perform them."
"World events are the work of individuals whose motives are often frivolous, even casual."
"You know, I've been around the ruling class all my life, and I've been quite aware of their total contempt for the people of the country."
"I am at heart a propagandist, a tremendous hater, a tiresome nag, complacently positive that there is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise."