This is a shocker. I hadn't heard he was sick and didn't think he was that old.
I was a huge fan of his books back in high school. The first one I read was Jurassic Park, which I got for Christmas the year it came out in paperback. I remember loving it, and being so excited for (and inevitably let down by) the movie.
I still love The Andromeda Strain and I credit it with my starting my love of killer disease movies.
Thank you, Universe, for bringing me down this morning. This is very sad. Jurassic Park was the first "adult" novel I ever read - and he was, therefore, the first author I spent a summer reading the entire backlog of.
I feel bad because I pretty much wrote him off after that anti-environmentalist book he wrote a few years ago, and I'm only this morning remembering how much I truly loved his work. I feel like rereading something.