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Andrew suffered from a rare genetic skin disease, dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, which causes the skin to blister and scar in response to minor injuries. The skin disease limited his mobility as he grew older, but he was still able to go out and enjoy himself as a child if properly bandaged up.
His family moved to Syracuse, New York, USA in September 1969 when Andrew was six. He started going to the neighbourhood school and graduated from Fayetteville-Manlius High School in 1980. He went on to the local university and received his B.A. from Syracuse University in 1984. He then went on to law school at Syracuse University and graduated with honours in 1986. One of his major achievements at law school was the production of a law school year book. Unfortunately his skin disease made it impossible for Andrew to practice law in Syracuse and he spent most of the rest of his life at home with his parents and his corgi dog Princess.
Andrew was not idle at home. Andrew was always interested in science fiction and fantasy and his collection of books, magazines, videos and role-playing games grew over the years. But his favourite character was Superman and he collected every Superman comic he could. He was a regular visitor to the local comic shops around Syracuse, and even sometimes made it as far as the comic shops in Montreal and Harrisburg when visiting his brothers.
Andrew was fond of computer technology. He had taken some computer courses as an undergraduate and kept an alumni account on the Syracuse University computers. By mid 1994 he couldn't get around so much any more and had to use an electric wheelchair. He spent more and more time on-line using a little Tandy portable computer and a 2400 baud modem to read the Usenet newsgroups on a four hour dialup, as well as to send email to friends and family. Signature files often urged the reader to watch Babylon 5:
Andrew ------------------------------------------------------------- <*> Watch Babylon 5 / Ugly But Well Hung (EA pilots' motto) Send e-mail to: email@example.com
Andrew -------------------------------- Garibaldi: No boom? |Send e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org Sinclair: No boom. |homepage: http://mothra.syr.edu:8000/~ajgould/ Ivanova: No boom _today_. Boom tomorrow. There is always a boom tomorrow. (as others leave) What? Look, somebody's got to have some damn perspective around here. Sooner or later - BOOM! -- [Babylon-5 "Grail"]
These early web pages, through the first graphically enhanced versions in the summer of 1995, were written "blind" in HTML; Andrew relied on those of us with more sophisticated browsers to tell him whether the web page background colours and gif files were showing up correctly. That October Andrew finally got a '486 computer and was able to start using Netscape from home with a SLIP account.
Princess the corgi died (of old age) in January 1996. Andrew was quite upset but continued to work on his Web page and explore new internet technologies like RealAudio.
He made a visit to Montreal in March, which was one of his last trips out of the Syracuse area.
In June his health began to deteriorate again. His skin disease predisposed him to cancer and he developed a cancer on his arm which didn't respond to out-patient treatment. The cancer made his arm swell up, which progressively interfered with his ability to type. At the beginning of November he was admitted to the University Hospital in Syracuse for further treatment, but only after he stayed up most of the night making sure the data for his web page had been safely transferred to its new home to be maintained by Steven Younis.
He died in hospital on November 25th, 1996. He is survived by his parents and his two older brothers.
Written by Peter Gould, MD, FRCPC
Neuropathologist, Hôpital de l'Enfant-Jésus, Qébec, PQ, Canada
(November 25, 1996 - Printed in The Syracuse Post-Standard)
Andrew J. Gould
Andrew J. Gould, 33, of Fayetteville died Monday at University Hospital after a long illness.
A native of Salford, England, Mr. Gould lived in Fayetteville since 1969. He was a 1984 cum laude graduate of Syracuse University and a 1986 graduate of the SU College of Law.
In 1986, Mr. Gould received the Dean's Outstanding Contribution Award and the Law Student Senate Special Services Award. He was a member of the New York State Bar Association.
Surviving are his parents Dr. Leo and Eileen Gould of Fayetteville; two brothers, Dr. Peter V. of Montreal, Canada, and Dr. John D. Gould of Memphis, Tenn.; and a nephew.
Services and burial will be private. There will be no calling hours.
Contributions may be made to the Research Foundation of the State University of New York, 750 E. Adams St., Syracuse 13210.
Eaton-Tubbs-Schepp Funeral Home has charge of arrangements.
This verse is taken from the book Dune. It was one of Andrew's favourite written pieces:
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear
Dune © 1965, 1984, Frank Herbert
Published by Putnam Pub Group
Dune Web pages:
Since learning of Andrew's passing, many people have written to either myself or Peter Gould. A few are reprinted here:
From Richard Watters, Jr (Watters@softfarm.com)
I'm very sorry to hear about Andrew's passing...his Superman page was, I think, the first I ever checked out when I got my internet account earlier this year...I would probably stop by there at least once or twice a week during my "surfing"...it is really great that you are continuing the page in his memory...my son and I have been regularly collecting Superman-related comics for the past 3 years and we found the info provided by Andrew's page to be quite informative.
Please extend my condolences to his family if you are able...his "cyberspace place" I'm sure has been an invaluable source about the world's first superhero (and my opinion only superhero) to many thousands of Superman fans...I'm glad I had a chance to meet up with Andrew's website...and in a way Andrew. I'll be stopping by your site on a regular basis, Steven...I'll definetly have reason to "look up in the sky" today.
From Lexie Nall, Ph.D. (email@example.com)
I had the pleasure of knowing Andrew Gould as a patient both as a visitor to our Epidermolysis Bullosa Clinic and through E-mail regarding EB. He had a fertile inquisitive mind, and wanted to learn as much as he could about his disease. I was saddened to learn from his brother, Dr. Peter Gould, that Andrew had died. I am delighted that you have dedicated the Superman Homepage to him, because like Superman he fought the good fight.
Andrew wasn't a comic book creator. He wasn't the president of his own fan club. He wasn't an acerbic net.god. He was Andrew Gould, a guy who liked comic books, and he was my friend.
He was intelligent, witty and open-minded, a rare person indeed on these newsgroups. He was the creator and keeper of the Unofficial Superman Home Page, which has gotten critical acclaim throughout the Internet. He was a sharp critic, but he always tried to be polite about it, something not everyone can attest to.
He didn't post to the rac.* groups very often, and I think that's our loss. He did, however, spend over two years working on the Superman Homepage, a creation dedicated to his favorite comic book character. Andrew started it on a rinky-dink computer that couldn't even display graphics. I had to check it out regularly to tell him if they even showed up on his page.
All of his work paid off, though. In my horribly biased opinion, the Unofficial Superman Homepage is the best Superman page on the Internet. He even spent the last months of his life making sure that the page would live on past his death.
Andrew spent most of the past several years crippled by his disease, but you would never have known it. Until the last few months, I had no idea how sick he really was. He did, though. He knew he only had a short time to live, but he somehow found the strength and humor to go on through the days and nights.
Andrew J. Gould was a man whom many of us knew, but never saw. That may be the most ironic thing. I've known him for over two years, we lived in the same city and used the same computers, but I have no idea what he looked like, or what he sounded like.
My deepest regret is that I found out about his death so late. Andrew will be missed by all who knew him. He was my friend, and I can say truthfully that my days will be a bit gloomier without him. He left too soon, but he will be remembered. God bless, Andrew J. Gould. I know that wherever you may be, it will be a world where the strength of your spirit, and not your body, will guide you, just like in life.
Here is a list of Web sites relevant to Andrew's illness "dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa".