Award-winning humourist David Rakoff has passed away after a long battle with cancer.
He was that rarity among thinkers - smart, funny, openly gay, with devastating powers of observation that he applied to a huge range of topics.
Though he's known best as a writer of essays - his work appeared in the New York Times and GQ, among others - he was also an actor, appearing on stage and in his own Oscar-winning short The New Tenants.
Born in Montreal, he grew up in Toronto, where he graduated from Forest Hill Collegiate before he moved to New York to study at Columbia. His sister Ruth still lives in town, and his brother Simon is a well-known Canadian comic.
He returned here to get treatment for Hodgkins Disease in the late 80s before relocating to New York permanently. It was there he developed a sardonic, dyspeptic literary style that he deftly applied even to his own illnesses.
His 2001 book Fraud, for example, is in part about his battle with Hodgkins, in which he describes himself as a cancer tourist. Typical of his dark humour is his 2010 essay Half Empty, in which he again took on his reappearing cancer, wondering how someone with an amputated arm might know he was having a heart attack.
But he's as well-known for looking outward, mocking those who turn the search for artisanal oils into a major crisis in Don't Get Too Comfortable and for writing an essay that combined a witty account of his experience on the last Concorde flight with a savage assessment of flying with the short-lived Hooters airline.
His last book Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish will be published by Doubleday posthumously.