Essayist, author, and actor David Rakoff has died at 47 after a long illness. He was a regular contributor to This American Life and the New York Times bestselling author of three books, Half Empty, Don't Get Too Comfortable, and Fraud.

Bill Thomas, his editor for many years at Doubleday, said: "The world is a little less kind and a little less beautiful today. There were hundreds of reasons to love David. He was of course incredibly charming, witty and learned, a brilliant raconteur with the quickest mind imaginable, but most of all he was a generous soul. Though his life was cut infuriatingly short, it was rich beyond measure."

Shortly before his death, Rakoff delivered a novel entitled Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die; Cherish, Perish. Doubleday plans to publish posthumously in 2013.