Internet, cryptography, and Bitcoin pioneer, Hal Finney, passed away on Thursday after a long battle with ALS. Hal was only 58. He is credited as being the first recipient of Bitcoin ever, receiving the transaction from Satoshi himself. As such, he has arguably contributed more to Bitcoin than any other known individual. That being said, his work as a cypherpunk, pre-dated Bitcoin and he strongly believed in the benefits of decentralized and robust systems.
Hal was diagnosed with the disease in October 2009 and announced it in an essay posted on the Less Wrong blog. Upon his death, he chose to be cryopreserved, with the hope that he could be restored in the future if a cure to ALS is found. The world has lost a great man this week. Rest in peace Hal.
If you want to learn more about him, and his immense contributions to Bitcoin, Andy Greenberg wrote a great piece on him for Forbes.