A photo of Kurt Vonnegut after he was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1973. The satirical novelist of works such as "Slaughterhouse-Five" and "Cat's Cradle" died Wednesday April 11, 2007 at age 84.
Credit: AP Photo/Jill Krementz
Author Kurt Vonnegut attends the Robert Altman Memorial at the Majestic Theater on February 20, 2007, in New York. Vonnegut was regarded by many critics as a key influence in shaping 20th-century American literature. "He was sort of like nobody else," said fellow author Gore Vidal. "Kurt was never dull."
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Author Kurt Vonnegut arrives at the opening of the Lincoln Center Theater presents "Awake And Sing" at the Belasco Theater on April 17, 2006, in New York. Vonnegut's more than a dozen books, short stories, essays and plays contained elements of social commentary, science fiction and autobiography.
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Author Kurt Vonnegut and his wife Jill Krementz attend a screening of HBO Films "Longford" at MOMA's Celeste Bartos Theater on February 11, 2006 in New York. Vonnegut lectured regularly, exhorting audiences to think for themselves and delighting in barbed commentary against the institutions he felt were dehumanizing people.
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Author Kurt Vonnegut and his wife attend the opening night of "Rabbit Hole" at Biltmore Theatre on February 2, 2006, in New York. Some of Vonnegut's books were banned and burned for suspected obscenity. He took on censorship as an active member of the PEN writers' aid group and the American Civil Liberties Union.
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Novelist Kurt Vonnegut and his wife, photographer Jill Krementz, arrive for the opening of the Broadway revival of "A Raisin in the Sun" Monday, April 26, 2004, in New York. Vonnegut's most recent book, "A Man Without a Country," hit bookstores in paperback on Jan. 16, 2007. The 84-year-old author was also reveling in his hometown of Indianapolis' declaration of 2007 as "The Year of Vonnegut."
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Governor's Arts Award winning author Kurt Vonnegut glances down at his daughter Lilly, 7, on June 29, 1990, during the New York State Governor's Arts Awards ceremony at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vonnegut, the satirical novelist of works such as "Slaughterhouse-Five" and "Cat's Cradle," died Wednesday April 11, 2007 at age 84 in Manhattan.
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In this March 5, 1990 file photo, author Kurt Vonnegut, right, leads a group of picketers outside the Random House Publishing Co. to protest the closure of their Pantheon Books division in New York. Despite his commercial success, Vonnegut battled depression throughout his life, and in 1984, he attempted suicide with pills and alcohol, joking later about how he botched the job.
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American author Kurt Vonnegut poses on Nov. 24, 1971. Vonnegut said the villains in his books were never individuals, but culture, society and history, which he said were making a mess of the planet.