Steve Irwin, Mr. Crocodile Hunter himself, has passed away.
It's the kind of news that sets you back and leaves you kind of lost. At least to me, Irwin was an icon in many ways. Here was a man who had made a career--a very successful one at that--doing what he genuinely loved; one could not imagine him doing anything but what he did. In addition, Irwin's love and respect of Nature, his sense of presentation, and his appeal helped to bring more audiences, young and old, a better understanding of our natural world.
Aside from that, Irwin had an aura of invincibility...as if he could always escape Death himself as he had done time and again on his show. And with his openness, you felt like you knew the guy...as if the Irwin that you saw on TV was basically the Irwin that you would expect to see in real life: friendly, inquisitive, open, honest, and fun loving. I think these qualities make this loss even more saddening as we all felt like we knew him personally.
So it was quite shocking (really quite shocking) to read that he had passed. At least he died in pursuit of what he loved: helping people all over the world explore the natural world from their armchairs.