Robert Jordan (Jim Rigney) 1948-2007
Jim Rigney (aka Robert Jordan) was my editor back when I wrote Conan novels. Very sharp, he caught nearly all of my in-jokes, it was hard to sneak anything past him. At one point, I tried to slip a section of T.S. Elliot's The Wasteland into a scene, something about rat's feet over broken glass in a dry cellar. It was lined through and the word 'NO!" was writ large in the margin next to it. He caught my werewolf references, and many bad puns, and almost none of them got through.
Rigney was a war-hero, won the Bronze Star in Vietnam, where he served two tours in the U.S. Army.
Before he began his Wheel of Time series, he wrote Conan novels, and that's how he got the job editing them.
His larger-than-life persona was sometimes hard to take -- in years past, he was most flamboyant, he sometimes wore a cape, and not just to science fiction conventions -- but he was way too young to leave. The cause of death was cardiac amyloidosis, a rare and progressive illness that is almost always fatal within a couple of years of diagnosis.