Terry Teachout, the critic, playwright, and author known for his writing about the worlds of theater and music, has died at 65, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Teachout was the theater critic for the Journal for almost 19 years; previously, he wrote for Harper’s Magazine and the New York Daily News. He was also a frequent contributor to the magazine Commentary.

His books included City Limits: Memories of a Small-Town Boy, The Skeptic: The Life of H.L. Mencken, Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong, and Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington. A critic for Kirkus called the latter book “an instant classic.”

Teachout’s recent life was marked by tragedy. His wife, Hilary Teachout, died of a rare illness in March of 2020, and earlier this month, his partner Cheril Mulligan’s mother died unexpectedly.

Teachout’s friends, readers, and admirers paid tribute to him on social media.

“This is shocking and terribly sad,” wrote critic Jason Zinoman. “A great critic and irreplaceable champion of the theater, the rare national critic who regularly covered regional houses all over the US. Also, just far kinder and more generous online than anyone else.”

And writer Maud Newton tweeted, “When I think of Terry, I think of his sincerity, his big easy laugh, his buoyancy in hard times, his serious approach to art, and his openness to new experiences, new projects, and, after his wife Hilary’s death, new love. I’m sad. And I will miss him.”

Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.