‘A great loss for Sweden and the world’: tributes pour in for Hans Rosling

Tributes have poured in for statistician Hans Rosling, with major international figures and politicians leading the praise for the Swede after he passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 68.

'A great loss for Sweden and the world': tributes pour in for Hans Rosling
Hans Rosling pictured in 2015. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

A medical doctor, academic, and former professor at Stockholm's Karolinska Institute, on the international stage Rosling is best known for his ability to make numbers and facts entertaining, with his TED talks and lectures registering millions of views on Youtube and turning him into a sought-after public speaker in recent years.

“A great friend, educator and true inspiration for our work. Melinda and I are saddened by the loss of Hans Rosling,” Microsoft founder Bill Gates wrote on Tuesday.

“Hans Rosling was a good friend and a brilliant teacher. He managed to give life to facts and helped people to see the progress we often overlook. We are deeply saddened by the loss,” Gates later expanded in a statement given to Swedish news agency TT.

TED owner Chris Anderson said he was “heartbroken” at the news of the Swede's passing. Rosling’s TED talk “The best stats you’ve ever seen” has been watched over two million times on Youtube.

READ ALSO: 'Hans' dream of a fact-based worldview, we will never let die'

Chelsea Clinton also expressed her sadness, while Spotify founder Daniel Ek noted that few Swedes had an impact as great as Rosling's.

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven lamented “a great loss for Sweden and the world”.

“He made statistics entertaining. Hans Rosling was ignorance's worst enemy, and the biggest proponent of hope,” he told newspaper Aftonbladet.

Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström called Rosling a “clear, educational, and important voice who made us better understand our world”.

Former Swedish PM Carl Bildt also paid tribute to the stats whizz.