Patrick Moore, Britain’s ‘Sky At Night’ Host, Dies
London (AP) — British astronomer and broadcaster Patrick Moore, well known for his long-running BBC television show “The Sky at Night,” died Sunday, friends and colleagues said. He was 89.
He died at his home in the coastal town of Selsey in southern England, according to a statement released Sunday. No specific cause of death was given, but he had heart problems and been confined to a wheelchair.
Moore was credited with popularizing astronomy among generations of Britons. He had presented the show for more than half a century.
He was briefly hospitalized last week when it was determined that further treatment would be ineffective, the statement said. His wish to spend his final days at home was honored.
“Over the past few years, Patrick, an inspiration to generations of astronomers, fought his way back from many serious spells of illness and continued to work and write at a great rate, but this time his body was too weak to overcome the infection which set in a few weeks ago,” the statement said.
It was signed by various staff members and friends, including Queen guitarist Brian May. May said Moore was irreplaceable and had stirred millions through his broadcasts.
“Patrick will be mourned by the many to whom he was a caring uncle, and by all who loved the delightful wit and clarity of his writings, or enjoyed his fearlessly eccentric persona in public life,” May said.
In its obituary, the Daily Telegraph reported that Moore believed he was the only person to have met the first man to fly, Orville Wright, as well as the first man in space, Russian Yuri Gagarin, and the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong.
Moore, who received a knighthood in 2001, had recently celebrated the 55th anniversary of his program. He was known for his trademark monocle and his frequently professed love of cats.