Terry Pratchett, author of the beloved Discworld series of fantasy novels, passed away today at age 66 following a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's disease. According to BBC News, he died at home surrounded by family.
"It is with immeasurable sadness that we announce that author Sir Terry Pratchett has died," reads a statement on the author's Facebook page. "The world has lost one of its brightest, sharpest minds. Rest in peace Sir Terry Pratchett."
The prolific Pratchett wrote more than 70 books over the course of his four-decade career, most notably the comic Discworld novels, which have sold more than 80 million copies worldwide. He also famously collaborated with Neil Gaiman on the acclaimed 1991 novel Good Omens.
"In over 70 books, Terry enriched the planet like few before him," Larry Finlay, managing director of Transworld Publishers, said in a statement. "As all who read him know, Discworld was his vehicle to satirize this world: He did so brilliantly, with great skill, enormous humour and constant invention. Terry faced his Alzheimer's disease (an 'embuggerance,' as he called it) publicly and bravely. Over the last few years, it was his writing that sustained him. His legacy will endure for decades to come. My sympathies go out to Terry's wife Lyn, their daughter Rhianna, to his close friend Rob Wilkins, and to all closest to him."
Pratchett was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1998, and received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 2010. He was diagnosed in 2007 with early-onset Alzheimer's disease.