By Steve Kroft
Dec. 16, 2011
60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft profiled author Christopher Hitchens in March 2011. Hitch, as he’s called, was combating esophageal cancer, but was as outspoken and opinionated as ever. Below, Steve’s remembrances of his conversations with Hitch, who died yesterday at age 62.
When I first sat down with Christopher Hitchens a little more than a year ago, he was bald and nauseous, his body wracked not just by the cancer, but by the sacks full of poisons he was taking to treat it.
We both knew how it was going to end. The only question was when. He was hoping for a few more years to see his children into adulthood. He only got one.
That first interview lasted four and a half hours, and I don’t think I was able to ask more than 15 questions. Let’s say he was in an expansive mood, well lubricated with Dr. (Johnny) Walker’s amber restorative at his side, and regular cigarette breaks whenever we needed to change tapes. It was less an interview than series of long monologues, touching on everything from Augustine and Plato, to body waxing and water boarding. It was enthralling and exhausting.