This is tragic and bitter news.
Tragic because Dean was so young and full of life, and fought so hard against cystic fibrosis, and had so much left to do. Bitter because he was a friend.
I first got to know Dean through Soxblog, before he hit the big time with Hugh Hewitt and the Weekly Standard, back when he was still anonymous. Since he was a Bostonian and a Red Sox fan, it was natural to correspond and then to meet, as I have with so many other New England bloggers. Not only was Dean a wonderful writer, he was a personable, warm, and witty guy who was generous in lending a hand to lesser-known writers like me.
He will be missed. Please send your condolences and prayers to his family.
[NOTE: Hugh Hewitt's tribute to Dean is here. And here's a great article Dean wrote about some promising developments in the treatment of CF. More of Dean's writing can be found at his blog, at Hugh Hewitt's, and at the Weekly Standard.]