A literary giant? Yes, Gore Vidal was that, with works going all the way back to the 1940's and including such legendary titles as Myra Breckinridge (1968), Burr (1973), Lincoln (1984) and many, many more.

Controversial? Without question. His arguments and quarrels with the likes of William F. Buckley and Norman Mailer are the stuff of legend. Do some research of the man named Gore Vidal, and you will come away cheering or swearing and seething.

There was very little 'middle ground' when it came to Gore Vidal. And I suspect that was just the way he liked it.

And to think his roots came out of rural South Dakota.

You see, his Dad Eugene was born and raised in Madison, South Dakota. That's right, Gore's Pa was born in Madison in 1895 and, I hasten to add, made quite a name for himself, too. A four sport letterman at the University of South Dakota, Eugene went on to work very closely with the most famous female aviator in history, Amelia Earhart. In fact, he was president Franklin Roosevelt's top civil aviation director from 1933-37.

His son Gore was born in 1925.

And one of the twentieth century's most influential writers had roots that came right back to Madison, South Dakota.

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