John Dobson popularized what is now called the "Dobsonian" telescope in the 1950's. He passed away earlier today....
From the Sidewalk astronomer's web site (https://www.facebook.com/Sidewalkastro)
It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we have to report the passing of Mr John L. Dobson. He died peacefully this morning, January 15th, 2014, in Burbank, California. He was 98. John leaves behind a son, many close friends, and legions of friends, fans, and admirers around the globe.
ISAN 7 (International Sidewalk Astronomy Night) will be held in honor of John on March 8th. Amateur astronomers worldwide can join in and celebrate his life by carrying the torch that John lit back in 1968 when he co-founded the San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers.
John was a friend and mentor to all who met him. He will be dearly missed.