Northern Ireland news

Irish-American writer PJ O'Rourke dies aged 74

Irish-American writer PJ O'Rourke has died at the age of 74

US journalist PJ O'Rourke, who once described Belfast as "the piece of Ireland that passes all understanding", has died at the age of 74.

The author of 20 books, he was best-known for Holidays in Hell, which saw him visit trouble spots including Belfast, Gaza and El Salvador in the late 1980s.

Born into a large Irish-American family, his acerbic writing saw him describe Belfast's peace lines as "sociological toddler gates".

He first rose to fame as the editor-in-chief of the now-defunct satirical magazine National Lampoon.

He also wrote for publications including Rolling Stone, Esquire and Vanity Fair.

A Republican, he reluctantly endorsed Hillary Clinton for the US presidency in 2016, saying she was "wrong about absolutely everything, but she's wrong within normal parameters".

O'Rourke had been diagnosed with lung cancer before his death.

Morgan Entrekin, chief executive of New York-based publisher Grove Atlantic, described O'Rourke as "one of the major voices of his generation".

"His insightful reporting, verbal acuity and gift at writing laugh-out-loud prose were unparalleled," he said.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news