Discworld author Sir Terry Pratchett has died aged just 66. Sir Terry, the author of over 70 books died at home, Thursday March 12, surrounded by his family and with his beloved cat sleeping on his bed. Pratchett, who had early onset Alzheimer’s disease, leaves his wife, Lyn, and their daughter, Rhianna.
The Guardian report that Terry Pratchett’s death was announced by Larry Finlay, managing director of Pratchett’s Transworld Publishers, who said “the world has lost one of its brightest, sharpest minds.” Finlay continued saying that Pratchett had “enriched the planet like few before him.”
“All who read him know, Discworld was his vehicle to satirise this world: he did so brilliantly, with great skill, enormous humour and constant invention”.
“Terry faced his Alzheimer’s disease (an ’embuggerance’, as he called it), publicly and bravely. Over the last few years, it was his writing that sustained him. His legacy will endure for decades to come.”
Terry Pratchett was diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer’s disease in 2007, but as the BBC reported, he continued to write and finished his last book in the summer of 2014. Terry Pratchett was diagnosed with PCA (posterior cortical atrophy), a progressive, degenerative condition involving the loss and dysfunction of brain cells. Almost as soon as Pratchett was diagnosed with PCA, he launched a high profile campaign to raise awareness of the disease.
The Independent reminded us that Terry Pratchett became an outspoken and vociferous supporter of assisted dying. In 2013, Pratchett spoke openly to the BBC about his wish to “go to his death in comfort,” saying that he “had the matter in hand.” In 2010, Pratchett said, “Rather than let Alzheimer’s take me, I would take it.”
“I would live my life as ever to the full and die, before the disease mounted its last attack, in my own home, in a chair on the lawn, with a brandy in my hand to wash down whatever modern version of the ‘Brompton cocktail’ some helpful medic could supply.”
“And with Thomas Tallis on my iPod, I would shake hands with Death.”
Terry Pratchett’s passing was also announced on his official twitter account with a message that said, “Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.”
A further message on Terry’s twitter feed simply said “The End.”
Tributes to Terry Pratchett have flooded in from across the world, but Hilary Evans, director of Alzheimer’s Research UK, perhaps said it best when she said simply, “We will miss him.”
[Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images]