Rest In Peace: John Hunter, matplotlib author, father has passed away.

by jesse in ,


I was extremely sad in hearing about this this morning - John Hunter, author of matplotlib and tireless open source/Python community contributor has passed away after an intense and short battle with cancer. He is survived by wife and three daughters.

John hunter crop 2

Many of us - both professionally and personally have benefited from John's work in the open source and Python community. Just a few weeks ago he delivered a keynote at the SciPy 2012 conference, shortly upon his return from that he was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer and passed away from treatment complications.

It is, in fact, a sad day for all of us in the community - but most of all, a terrible day for his family. 

Fernando Perez has posted a heartfelt and detailed post on John and his contributions - Gael Varoquaux has also posted a moving statement on John's contributions, quoting:

A man who gave a lot, not asking for anything in return

And:

Many have benefited from the silent efforts of John, and are not fully aware of how he generously invested his time and talent for the benefit of others. Matplotlib, the Python plotting library that he created in 2002, has propelled Python as a major tool for scientific research and engineering. The impact of John’s efforts go well beyond Matplotlib.

And quoting Travis Oliphant from the memorial webpage:

Those who contribute much to open source, as John did, do so at the expense of something - often it is time with family.

I can not add anything beyond that this is a terribly sad day for many. 

Please consider donating to his memorial fund put together by the Numfocus group - All donations will be sent to a fund that will be established for the care and education of Clara, Ava, and Rahel. I encourage companies who have benefited from his works to do the same.

As a parent, and a Python programmer, I have no words except to pass my condolences on to his family and friends. I was never lucky enough to meet John except through his works, but I consider him a friend nonetheless.