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Hans Rosling (1948 - 2017)

Getty / Debra L. Rothenberg

Hans Rosling (1948 - 2017)

Hans Rosling, a Swedish medical doctor and statistician who made data come alive during worldwide presentations, died Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, in Uppsala, Sweden, according to multiple news sources. He was 68.

He died about a year after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Born July 27, 1948, in Uppsala, Sweden, he studied statistics and medicine at Uppsala University in Sweden, and he studied public health in India. After receiving his medical degree, he tracked a rare disease in rural Africa and discovered its cure.

In 1993, Rosling co-founded the Swedish branch of the international humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders, a nongovernmental entity that helps people in war-torn and developing countries.

Rosling also presented famous TED talks about social and economic trends. In his 2007 TED talk, he also demonstrated his sword-swallowing skills.

"What sets Rosling apart isn't just his apt observations of broad social and economic trends, but the stunning way he presents them," his biography states. "Guaranteed: You've never seen data presented like this. By any logic, a presentation that tracks global health and poverty trends should be, in a word: boring. But in Rosling's hands, data sings. Trends come to life. And the big picture — usually hazy at best — snaps into sharp focus."

To help bring the statistics to life, Rosling used Trendalyzer software developed by his son and daughter-in-law, Ola and Anna Rosling. In 2007, Google purchased the software.

The Roslings also created a nonprofit foundation, Gapminder. Many of Hans Rosling's award-winning presentations may be viewed at the Gapminder website.

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