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Brad L. Graham, host of SXSW Baby, has passed away

Brad L. Graham, host and custodian of SXSW Baby, influential early blogger, coiner of the word “blogosphere,” and a good friend to many, passed away suddenly last weekend. He was 41.

You might have also known him as the Brad in his namesake “Break Bread with Brad” event. Over the years, it became the unofficial kickoff for many attendees of SXSW Interactive, particularly first-time attendees. He described “Break Bread with Brad” as a dinner party for friends, even the ones he hadn’t yet met, and there was always space for a few more. Brad was a great friend and instantly made newcomers to SXSW feel at home, cracking jokes, making introductions, and being the life of the party. Brad brought together many, many people in life, both offline and online, and was even scheduled to be a panelist at SXSW Interactive 2010.

For many people (including myself), our memories of Brad are synonymous with our memories of SXSW, both for the Break Bread events and SXSW Baby (which he graciously invited me to write for in late 2004). I can’t even remember the number of times we closed down the Ginger Man every March, talking into the wee hours of the night, laughing hard enough to cause stomachaches the next day. No doubt we would have been doing the same this coming spring. For myself, and a lot of other longtime SXSWi attendees, South By will seem a little quieter this year, a little less vibrant.

Goodbye, Brad. We miss you. I hope you’re drinking Shiners in heaven.

A remembrance event during SXSW Interactive 2010 is currently being planned. Details to come.

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