British writer and iconoclastic Christopher Hitchens who courted controversy by branding late Nobel laureate Mother Teresa "a fanatic and fraud" has died after a battle against cancer.
A firebrand columnist, Hitchens who began his journalistic career in the UK before finding fame in US, was diagnosed with the disease in 2010 and had documented his declining health in his column for the Vanity Fair.
Announcing his death, Vanity Fair described the writer as "incomparable critic, fiery wit and fearless born vivant". He was the contributing editor of the magazine.
The announcement said he died with friends at his side at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.
The writer, who enjoyed great success with his pen, also made equally strong enemies and invited the wrath of Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity when he called the Roman Catholic saint-in-waiting as "a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud".
In his book "The Missionary Position" and a documentary called "Hell's Angel", Hitchens accused the nun of being a political opportunist who struck friendships with dictators and corrupt financiers in exchange for donations to her order.
The writer also accused the Albanian-born nun of contributing to the misery of the poor with her strident opposition to contraception and abortion.
The firebrand writer for the past 12 months had written about US' troubled political relations with Pakistan in the wake of killing of Osama bin-Laden.
Mother Teresa was not the sole victim of Hitchens furry as he also branded the former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger as a "war criminal"
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