"It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we have to report the passing of Mr John L. Dobson. He died peacefully this morning, January 15th, 2014, in Burbank, California. He was 98. John leaves behind a son, many close friends, and legions of friends, fans, and admirers around the globe."
I think he was one of the most influential amateur astronomers of the 20th century, and played the leading role in promoting large, inexpensive telescopes - fittingly named the "Dobsonian" - which revolutionized the ability of amateurs to make significant contributions to astronomical research. I am sure many of us pro-am observers wouldn't be here today, if it wasn't for "JD" and all his devotion and work he did to spread the wonders of the universe amongst the public.
On a personal note, I will miss him dearly, especially our "sidewalk astronomy" nights together on the streets of San Francisco - the place where the "Dobsonian revolution" began some 40+ years ago.
Rest in Eternal Glory amongst the stars, my friend.