Ray Bradbury, 1920 - 2012
Today marks the passing of Ray Bradbury, one of the greatest science fiction writers ever to grace the genre. I honestly don't know what to write here--his body of work and artistic influence are so large that I no idea where to begin. He truly was a giant in his field.
Of the many stories he wrote that I've read over the years, one of my favorites is a short story called "The Fog Horn". Before reading it, I never thought that a story about a giant prehistoric monster could be such a heartbreaking meditation on loneliness--Bradbury was that good. This story would later inspire The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), a movie that featured innovative stop-motion effects work by Bradbury's long-time friend, Ray Harryhausen.
There a plenty of more detailed Bradbury obits out there and I particularly recommend the one by Cartoon Brew, which will give you a better idea of how Bradbury's interests and talents extended beyond the written word.