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Frank Willison Remembered


Frank Willison, O'Reilly & Associates' editor in chief and Python champion, died Monday morning, July 30th, of a massive heart attack.

Frank was my manager for four years at O'Reilly & Associates. We worked on different coasts. We didn't meet face to face often, but I treasure the times we did. Frank was witty, well-read, intelligent, and I loved talking with him. His emails make me smile. I should have saved every one. As Laura Lewin writes, "Frank lives through his words." Frank is my hero. He was the very heart of O'Reilly & Associates. Tim is the visionary, but Frank made the vision real. There are many strong people at O'Reilly to keep making the vision real, but they have lost their strongest and best-loved knight.

Over the last few years, Frank mentored Laura Lewin, and Laura has taken on editorship of Python books. So Frank's legacy of Python support continues through Laura. She has her work cut out for her. Laura and Frank were working on several new Python books, including Python & XML, Python in a Nutshell, Python Cookbook, and Jython Essentials.

Frank was a mentor to many of us and a role model to many more. David Ascher writes that Frank is his idol, and I don't think that goes too far. Jon Orwant has put up an online memorial for Frank. You can read the thoughts of others there. If you have a memory of Frank to share, you can post it too.

Stephen Figgins administrates Linux servers for Sunflower Broadband, a cable company.

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