Openly gay humorist and actor David
Rakoff died Thursday in Manhattan. He was 47.
According to The New York Times,
Rakoff, a frequent contributor to public radio's This American
Life, lost a prolonged battle with cancer.
His illness, first diagnosed at the age
of 22, was a theme he often explored in his essays. It recently
reappeared as a tumor in his left shoulder, possibly requiring that
his arm and shoulder be amputated. He wrote about the experience in
his 2010 collection of essays titled Half Empty, for
which he received the Thurber Prize for American Humor.
Rakoff also contributed to The New
York Times, GQ, Details, Salon and
The diagnosis of Hodgkin's lymphoma was
first made as Rakoff worked as a translator in Japan. He returned to
his native Canada for treatment and the cancer remained at bay for
two decades, according to the Times.
He is survived by his parents, his
stand-up comic brother Simon Rakoff and writer sister Ruth Rakoff.