The Robin Williams biography is robust. He was a comic genius and he was an American institution in and of himself. Robin Williams’ death by suicide on August 11, 2014 shook the nation and we’re left with questions, uncertainty and a deep, resounding sense of loss. Billy Crystal said it the most poignantly during his tribute to Robin Williams at the 2014 Emmy Awards: “It’s very hard to talk about him in the past because he was so present in all of our lives.” And he so was.

Robin Williams was like the Björk of comedy—a wild and effervescent entity all unto himself. He was as quick-witted and sharp as he was goofy and experimental. He dominated the art of the freestyle, taking his audiences on extended comic journeys, replete with nuance, brilliance, bravery and innovation. He was unparalleled in so many ways and we, like people everywhere, will always adore him. So with heavy hearts, here are 19 reasons we still can’t stop reflecting on the tragedy of Robin Williams’ death.

1. Today’s 40-somethings grew up with him.
Most of us met Mork from Ork on Happy Days and grew to love him on Mork & Mindy, which had its television debut in 1978.

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