Tom Negrino is dying. He has been for a while, but the day is getting close when he will leave us. Ray Holley of the Healdsburg Tribune wrote a good story about what Tom and his wife, Dori Smith, have been going through.
I have known Tom since 1997. I can say the precise date because that’s when Macworld and MacUser magazines merged together. Tom was a stalwart Macworld contributor and I was thrown into the mix as a first-time features editor who had previously been employed by the opposition. That era was full of unpleasant interactions and bad behavior on all fronts, but one of the few people who I found always welcoming and professional was Tom Negrino.
Tom had already been writing about Macs for a decade at that point. He will almost certainly go down as the longest-running regular contributor to Macworld. He has written 48 books. Imagine all of this against the backdrop of lifelong health problems. The man is a survivor, and he hasn’t just survived, he’s thrived.
But the end is near. At WWDC a couple of years ago I heard from Tom and Dori that his cancer had returned and that the outcome was inevitable. Tom has focused on making the most of his remaining time, and Dori has been his steadfast supporter and partner during the darkest and most challenging moments any of us could face.
Tom may be leaving us in a week—or not, you never know with these things, but that’s the plan so far. As that moment approaches, I just wanted to say as someone who knows him: I have seen his goodness in difficult times, I have seen his humanity, and I have edited his work and can appreciate it as being of the highest quality. Personally and professionally, Tom’s the best. The world will be appreciably worse when he’s no longer in it.