Life goes on...
I really look forward to seeing his vision completed, but it's hard to think about anything more than this shocking, loss. I knew of his illness, but on his personal blog, he remained defiant of his long odds and he seemed to have the good medical reports to back it up. I read almost every interview and article about him for years. His public persona was among the warmest I've ever observed. He really did touch a great many people.
Charleston novelist James Oliver Rigney Jr., 58, known to millions of readers by the pen name Robert Jordan, the best-selling author of "The Wheel of Time" fantasy series, died Sunday after a fight with the rare blood disease amyloidosis, a progressive disorder first diagnosed in December 2005 at the Medical University of South Carolina.
Rigney, who also wrote novels under the nom de plume Reagan O'Neal, succumbed to complications from primary amyloidosis with cardiomyopathy.
In an open letter to the science fiction magazine Locus in April of 2006, Rigney said he had been diagnosed with a disorder that affects only eight people out of one million each year.
The most popular fantasy author since J.R.R. Tolkien, Rigney was born in 1948 in Charleston. A graduate of The Citadel who earned a degree in physics, he served two tours of duty in Vietnam with the U.S. Army, winning a Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star and two Vietnamese Crosses of Gallantry. A lifelong history buff and voracious reader, he also wrote dance and theater criticism. He had been writing full time since 1977.
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