Humorist David Rakoff Dead at 47 Admirers across the Internet remember the essayist By Liam Carnahan, Newser Staff Posted Aug 10, 2012 1:22 PM CDT 21 comments Comments David Rakoff has died at the age of 47. (Flickr) (Newser) – David Rakoff, longtime contributor to This American Life, essayist adored for his cynical point of view, and beloved voice for the gay and Jewish communities, died of cancer yesterday at 47, reports the Huffington Post. Some tributes: Margalit Fox, New York Times: Rakoff was a "was a social anthropologist of postmodern life" who was often praised for his "singular style, which combined an amiable dyspepsia with an almost palpable undercurrent of melancholy." Linda Holmes, NPR: His voice was the "antithesis of the empty and unsatisfying fascination with some kind of centimeter-deep 'keeping it real.' That, it turns out, is not mushy, gushy, sunshine-y insistence that everything is great." Hilton Als, New Yorker: "David was too modest an artist to talk about 'process'; he lived by doing what he was meant to do: educate himself in public until illness and then death drew its curtain." Rakoff himself, writing about his illness for the New York Times: "Fantastic days are what you wish upon those who have so few sunrises left, those whose lungs are so lesion-spangled with new cancer that they should be embracing as much life as they can. Time’s a-wasting, go out and have yourself a fantastic day! Fantastic days are for goners."