died peacefully on February 6 at his home in Los Angeles after battling brain cancer. He was 49 years old. Raised on the Upper West Side, Dan was a third generation New Yorker. He grew up with a love of tap dancing and drumming throughout his childhood, and starred in musical theater performances at his high school, Ethical Culture Fieldston School in the Bronx and at Cornell University. After graduating from Cornell, he received an MFA from NYU film school and ultimately chose writing as his vocation. Daniel began his career as a staff writer for the former NBC sitcom, Something So Right. He then transitioned from television to feature films, co-writing the screenplay for the highly successful Pixar Animation Studios movie, Monsters, Inc., as well as the prequel, Monsters University, followed by Walt Disney Animation Studio's Big Hero 6, which won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film in 2015. Daniel expressed a unique zest for life, its big and little moments, and brought that spirit to all of his loved ones. His sense of humor was exceptional. Beyond his creative talents, what distinguished Daniel was a profound commitment to honesty, fairness and concern for the less fortunate. He was a fiercely loyal, loving and caring human being. The humanity, humor, and compassion that he brought to his writing, he brought to his family and friends in equal measure. The heart of his life was his family, his deep love for his wife of 20 years, Beau Stacom, his two children, Claire and Asher, his parents, Mary-Joan and Charles Gerson, his sister, Jessica Gerson, and her children, Daisy and Henry, as well as nieces and nephews. Daniel was a remarkable father, who enriched his children's lives at every opportunity and enabled them to believe the best about themselves. Anyone whose life he touched benefitted from his love, his honesty and his wit. Services will be held in Los Angeles. Donations in Daniel's memory may be made to: Dr. Linda Liau, Brain Tumor Program at UCLA, https://giving.ucla.edu/Campaign/Donate.aspx?SiteNum
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Published by New York Times on Feb. 8, 2016.