When I found out that Glenn O’Brien died today, my heart sank and I just stopped. I admired him more than I can say. He profoundly influenced my approach to life, style and creativity in ways immeasurable.

Like many other men my age, I became aware of him as “The Style Guy” in GQ. His take on style and the inimitable wit with which he expressed it were totally original. And his 2011 book How to Be a Man is an indispensable and very funny guide on being a discerning adult male in our culture that should be required reading for all high school seniors – and for all men, for that matter.

I never met Glenn, but I sure wish I had. He was a fellow native of Cleveland (Lakewood) and fellow alumnus of St. Ignatius High School, two subjects about which we shared a couple of fun exchanges on Twitter in the last couple of years. His style, his humor, his life experience, his pursuit of beauty and his unyielding intellectual curiosity will remain standards to which I will always aspire. I’m so grateful that our lifetimes overlapped so that I could experience his living example of what was possible for the creatively engaged adult male.

Glenn O’Brien, 2010, by Peter Ross.

This video from Paradigm Magazine is a terrific representation of how I will always think of him.

Read Glenn’s obituary in The New York Times.

Read about the greatest hits from Glenn O’Brien’s closet.