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Sir Terry Pratchett

Kevin Nixon/SFX Magazine via Getty Images

The literary community has lost a legend. 

Renowned fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett has died, E! News confirms. The English author, who was best known for his Discworld series, which includes about 40 volumes, was 66. 

"The world has lost one of its brightest, sharpest minds," Larry Finlay, managing director for Transworld Publishing—Prachett's publishing company—said in a statement to E! News, adding that Prachett passed at his home "with his cat sleeping on his bed, surrounded by his family." 

Prachett died after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's, after having been diagnosed with a rare form of the disease in December 2007. 

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According to BBC News, Prachett wrote more than 70 books over the course of his lengthy career—publishing three books a year at his peak—and he even continued to write after his diagnosis, completing his final tome last summer. 

"In over 70 books, Terry enriched the planet like few before him," Finlay said. "As all who read him know, Discworld was his vehicle to satirize this world: He did so brilliantly, with great skill, enormous humour and constant invention." 

Prachett bravely revealed to the public that he was suffering from an early onset of Alzheimer's in 2007, and the following year, he donated one million dollars to the Alzheimer's Research Trust. 

Knighted in 2009 by Queen Elizabeth II, Prachett said (per BBC): "It would appear to me that me getting up and saying 'I've got Alzheimer's', it did shake people. The thing about Alzheimer's is there are few families that haven't been touched by the disease. People come up to me and talk about it and burst into tears; there's far more awareness about it and that was really what I hoped was going to happen."

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"Terry faced his Alzheimer's disease (an 'embuggerance', as he called it) publicly and bravely," Finlay said. "Over the last few years, it was his writing that sustained him. His legacy will endure for decades to come." 

He concluded by adding, "My sympathies go out to Terry's wife Lyn, their daughter Rhianna, to his close friend Rob Wilkins, and to all closest to him."

In addition to Prachett's publishing company, his death was also announced on his Twitter page. 

Our thoughts go out to his family and friends. 

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