Sheldon passed away last night after a seven-year battle with cancer.
We all strive to leave behind a lasting legacy. It is a measure of Sheldon that he did it twice.
He first picked up the judge program and instilled a vision of fairness and proper behavior in competitive Magic that carries on to this day. Until his retirement from judging in 2011 he was the face of the program; the judge that all the other judges aspired to be.
And then, there’s Commander. Though he was always quick to credit Adam Staley as the creator, without his efforts we would not have Commander. He saw the potential of the format as a vessel for social play and tirelessly advocated for it as a way to make and spend time with friends. Along the way, he picked up many of them and unlocked a tidal wave of a community that had often been ignored. He championed that diversity, always looking for a way to raise up underserved voices in the community.
He faced down the challenges of his cancer with the relentless verve of one of his beloved Shakespearean characters, refusing to let it stop him living life to the fullest for as long as he could. Even a week ago, he refused to rule out getting to Las Vegas for MagicFest because he so wanted another chance to make his fans, friends, and everyone else happy as they celebrated the game together.
Sheldon always said a great leader planned for a future without them, and took the steps to ensure that the RC and CAG could continue after he was gone. We will deeply miss his wisdom, but look forward to honoring his mission.
Goodbye, friend. Safe travels.