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David Rakoff, A Wonderful Lens

David Rakoff, author humorous essay collections Fraud, Don’t Get Too Comfortable, and Half Empty - and frequent contributor to Public Radio International’s This American Life has died.

Last year, Rakoff won a well-deserved James Thurber Prize for American Humor. In 1987 Rakoff was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but overcame it after eighteen months of treatment. In 2010, he was diagnosed with a malignant tumor, was forced to start chemotherapy again, and he lost the battle with cancer last night. Rakoff, a Canadian by birth who lived in NYC, learned he had a tumor while writing Half Empty, his book in defense of pessimism and melancholy.

He was on our show in 2010 when Half Empty was released. We spoke with him about pessimism, elitism, and public radio.

Music - "What'll I Do" - Nat King Cole

Joe talks to people on the radio for a living. In addition to countless impressive human "gets" - he has talked to a lot of Muppets. Joe grew up in Philadelphia, has been on the area airwaves for more than 25 years and currently lives in Washington County, NY with his wife, Kelly, and their dog, Brady. And yes, he reads every single book.
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