British-American author, essayist, journalist as well as orator, polemicist, contrarian. Lifelong scotch drinker and chain smoker. He is now being treated for stage four esophageal cancer. "There is no stage five," he has said.
I'm a fan. I saw him speak a few years ago, and he certainly delivers. Nonetheless, I can see how one can find him an annoying blowhard. At his worst, at least he's entertaining. But, he often also delivers the truth when it is necessary and no one else is saying it.
Though he's been writing for a while, his writing on atheism and religion has really given him a great deal of fame. More than I expected, in retrospect. Even as a fellow atheist, I think he misses the mark with that stuff. He's way too bombastic and arrogant. Though I like him the most out of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett. I find myself a lot less satisfied with strict atheism and materialism, and find myself often going back to religious and spiritual sources. There's more there than Hitchens gives credit, in my opinion.
His writing post-diagnosis, however, has a less arrogant attitude with more introspection.
I also enjoy his support for literature in an age when its easy for a famous person to forget it.