I’ve just learned that David Rackoff died today.. His decades long struggle with cancer finally got the better of him. I’m deeply saddened to hear of his passing. His was a dark, wonderful wit. When I think back to my first exposure to him — his Fraud essay entitled “In New England, everyone calls you Dave” — on This American Life, I realize just how much of my own thought journey I owe to Rackoff.

His essays inform my own introspection at adult life. “In New England…” introduced me to TAL, to David Sedaris, to Mike Birbiglia, to Sarah Vowel and a dozen others — all of which grew my love of non-fiction storytelling. He was one of the first gay men I recognized as a person rather than just an orientation. And while I haven’t read him in a while, I know the world is a lesser place now that there won’t be any new work of his in it. Thank you, David Rackoff.