David Rakoff Loses His Battle With Cancer, Fans React
By Justine Ashley Costanza | August 11, 2012 1:08 AM EST
Popular essayist David Rakoff lost his battle with cancer on Thursday at the age of 47. The frequent "This American Life" contributor was known for finding humor in tragedy.
Rakoff won his battle with Hodgkin's lymphoma at just 22 but endured was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in 2010, believed to have been caused by the treatment for his earlier cancer.
Rakoff wrote about facing mortality in his book "Half Empty."
"I try to comfort myself with the first-person accounts I've heard of those who die on operating tables and come back: the light, the warmth, and the surge of love from one's dead ancestors urging you forward."
The unmistakable tone of his writing resonated with many. Fans of the award winning writer have taken to Twitter to express their grief.
"Oh no oh no oh no oh no. David Rakoff passed away. My heart is breaking and the literary world is missing a bright light," wrote musician Sarah Bareilles.
"Devastated. David Rakoff was a great, loving, supportive friend -- to me and so many others. Absolutely heartbroken by his death," wrote author Dan Savage.
"Heartbroken to hear about David Rakoff. This piece was one of the most moving pieces of writing I've ever heard: thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives...," tweeted MSNBC host Christopher Hayes who linked to his essay "Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace."
A tumblr devoted to Rakoff, which offers a compilation of his greatest quotes, has also been created.
In it, Champion recalls past interviews with the "Half Empty" author notes that he was gracious, always keeping him well fed during their meetings and apologizing for stopping the interview each time he needed to take medication.
"Last night, David lost his battle with cancer," writes Champion. "But we still have the three books, the many 'This American Life' appearances, and David's quiet suggestion that a comic yet realistic dignity is an extraordinary defense against life's cruel setbacks."
According to the official "This American Life" website, Rakoff's final book (a novel written in rhyme) is set to be released in 2013.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Kristen Stewart Moving On With Nicholas Hoult, Jennifer Lawrence Dating Chris Martin – Reports [PHOTOS]
- Chris Martin Dating Reports: Jennifer Lawrence Vs Gwyneth Paltrow [PHOTOS]
- Kate Middleton Suffocated in Kensington Palace, Queen Elizabeth Reported War With The Duchess [PHOTOS]
- 9/11 Dust Cloud Most Likely Have Created Pregnancy Issues: Celebrities Who Posed Nude During Pregnancy
Join the Conversation
- Theo James and Shailene Woodley's Love Story Evolves in 'Insurgent"
- ‘Game of Thrones’ ‘A Song of Ice And Fire’ Ending Guessed By Fans, Jon Snow The Final Hero
- 'Insurgent' Movie Plot Details: Ansel Elgort to Darker Role, Relationship With Beatrice to Change
- ‘Game of Thrones’ The Mountain Hailed As Europe’s Strongest Man, Gregor Clegane’s Fate In Season 5 [VIDEO]
- Saudi Arabia: Brothers Beheaded For Smuggling Marijuana Into The Kingdom
- ISIS: More Journalists Beheading To Come After James Foley and Steven Sotloff [Video]
- Moto X+1 is Likely Nexus 6 Template; Motorola Shamu is 1st Android Silver with Snapdragon 810 – Reports
- James Foley’s Executioner Has British Accent—A Chilling Reminder That ISIS Has Foreign Members
- ISIS Posts Graphic Beheading Video of US Journalist James Foley
- iPhone 6 Release Date Remains On Course for Sept-Oct 2014 as Apple Delays iWatch Debut to 2015
- Nexus 6 Release Date Dilemma with Motorola Shamu Details Pointing to Better Smartphone and Killer Features