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Tony Judt dies of Lou Gehrig's disease complications

9th August 2010

Celebrated yet controversial historian Tony Judt has passed away at the age of 62.

London-born Judt, a professor of European studies at New York University, died after suffering complications associated with a form of motor neurone disease.

The author was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, in 2008.

After discovering he had the condition and becoming wheelchair-bound within a few months, the writer revealed that he considered euthanasia.

'I've thought about euthanasia a lot, not for tomorrow, but one has to plan for it because the likely trajectory is that you lose your capacity to express yourself long before you die,' Judt explained.

Postwar, his 900-page account of European history that covered the launch of the Marshall Plan in 1945 through to the fall of communism, was a runner-up for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction.

His other works included Reappraisals, which examines society's tendency to forget its recent past, and Ill Fares The Land - an analysis of how western public affairs have gone amiss in the past 30 years.
 

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