He started writing at age 50, sobering up in the Oregon wilderness after a career of producing such features as Ash Wednesday and Panic in Needle Park. After several best-selling novels he went on to join Vanity Fair as a contributing writer in 1984 then special correspondent in 1993, which is how The Landless Farmer was first introduced to him, through his shockingly lurid accounts of high society's inner domain. As exemplified by his journalistic pen he was a strong advocate of victims' rights, having reported on the murder of his own daughter Dominique in his debut VF article. He died in his home in Manhattan on August 26 after battling cancer, and is survived by his two sons, Griffin and Alex, and granddaughter Hannah. His last novel, Too Much Money, publishes this December.
On location in Italy with Elizabeth Taylor during the filming of Ash Wednesday, 1973. (Photo by Gianni Bozzacchi)
In a taxi in London on his way to the inquest of the death of Princess Diana, 2008. (Photo by Jason Bell)