"We are extremely sad to announce that Professor Hans Rosling died this morning. Hans suffered from a pancreatic cancer which was diagnosed one year ago. He passed away early Tuesday morning, February 7, 2017, surrounded by his family in Uppsala, Sweden," Rosling's son Ola Rosling and daughter-in-law Anna R. Rönnlund said in a statement posted on the website of the Gapminder Foundation, which they co-founded with him.
"In 2007 Hans decided to “drop out” of university to work only five percent as professor at Karolinska Institute. That was a great decision. The 95 percent he worked for Gapminder made him a world famous public educator, or Edutainer as he liked to call it," they added.
A medical doctor and academic as well as a stats expert, Rosling was also a professor at Stockholm's Karolinska Institute.
His unique approach to numbers made him a global celebrity and much sought-after public speaker, with his TED talks and lectures chalking up millions of views on Youtube.
In 2015 he even spoke in front of a packed Stockholm arena at a charity concert otherwise reserved for musicians, where he gave a surprise lecture on the funding he believed to be essential in order to tackle the global refugee crisis. He received a standing ovation.
"Across the world, millions of people use our tools and share our vision of a fact-based worldview that everyone can understand. We know that many will be saddened by this message. Hans is no longer alive, but he will always be with us and his dream of a fact-based worldview, we will never let die!" his family's statement concluded.
Rosling's relatives asked for their privacy to be respected, and added that Gapminder will announce memorial details at a later date.