Anne McCaffrey - 1926 - 2011
Anne McCaffrey died yesterday. I just read about it now and it feels like a piece of my childhood has passed on as well. Tor.com has a nice tribute page up for her as well. She was the first woman to win the Hugo award and the Nebula award. She also has the honor of having the first SF title to make the NYT bestseller list.
I recall reading the heck out of all the Dragonriders of Pern books, even buying them used years later as an adult. IT was her and Roger Zelazny that cemented my love of Science Fiction and Fantasy.