We lost one of the all time greats yesterday, as Leonard Nimoy passed away at the age of 83. Since this news hit, there has been an outpouring of mourning and memorials remembering the man, his work, and his legacy. Costars like William Shatner and George Takei have shared moving tributes, as have countless others in the entertainment industry and beyond. Whether we knew him personally or not, he certainly had a lasting impact on many of our lives. If his influence was ever in doubt, the President of the United States even wrote a fond farewell for our Vulcan friend. And regardless of how you feel about Barack Obama politically, you have to admit that’s pretty damn cool.
Obama has long garnered comparisons to Nimoy’s iconic Star Trek character, Spock, so it only seems fitting that he would have something to say. He wrote:
Long before being nerdy was cool, there was Leonard Nimoy. Leonard was a lifelong lover of the arts and humanities, a supporter of the sciences, generous with his talent and his time. And of course, Leonard was Spock. Cool, logical, big-eared and level-headed, the center of Star Trek’s optimistic, inclusive vision of humanity’s future.
I loved Spock.
In 2007, I had the chance to meet Leonard in person. It was only logical to greet him with the Vulcan salute, the universal sign for “Live long and prosper.” And after 83 years on this planet – and on his visits to many others – it’s clear Leonard Nimoy did just that. Michelle and I join his family, friends, and countless fans who miss him so dearly today.
Nimoy’s health has been failing for a while. Late last week he was rushed to the hospital with severe chest pains from the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that ultimately took his life. But he never stopped being the passionate, poetic man that many of us came to recognize him as outside of his acting roles. His final tweet from earlier this week is poignant and moving:
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP
— Leonard Nimoy (@TheRealNimoy) February 23, 2015
We argue about movies and politics and what color a dress is and damn near everything else we can pick a side about. As a species, we agree on almost nothing. But somehow we’re all well aware of just how awesome Leonard Nimoy is, and on its own, that fact is enough to illustrate just how unique and special he is.