Partner Gore Vidal
New York University, New York, 10003, Stati Uniti
Everard Turkish Bath House, 28 West 28th St., 10001, NYC, NY
Rock Creek Cemetery, 201 Allison St NW, Washington, DC 20011, Stati Uniti
Howard Austen (born Howard Auster; January 28, 1929 – September 22, 2003) was the long-time companion of American writer Gore Vidal for 53 years until Austen's death.
Austen was born into a working-class Jewish family and grew up in The Bronx, New York.
Reportedly, Austen wanted to have a career as a singer. In 1950, when Vidal met Austen, he had just graduated and was struggling to find work writing advertising copy. At Vidal's suggestion, he changed his surname from "Auster" to "Austen" "after advertising firms refused to hire him because he was Jewish." Immediately after he changed his name, he was hired at Doyle, Dane & Bernbach, which was considered a very good house, and is known as DDB today.
Austen would go on to become a stage manager for Broadway shows in the 1950s and 1960s. He also worked in film, assisting with the casting of the classic 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird.
Austen was described as red-haired and freckle-faced and was 21, having just graduated from New York University, when he met Vidal at New York's Everard Baths on Labor Day, 1950. Vidal has been reported as describing their relationship as "two men who decided to spend their lives together." Austen managed the couple's complicated financial affairs, travel arrangements and housing needs, both at their home in Hollywood and Ravello, Italy on the Amalfi coast.
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, NYU, New York City
In September 2003, Austen died from brain cancer at the age of 74 in Los Angeles, California. In February 2005, Austen was re-buried at Rock Creek Cemetery, in Washington, D.C., in a joint grave meant for Vidal and Austen.