Steve Irwin: 1962 - 2006
Typically John Howard got his oar in by making a public comment about Irwin and totally ignoring the passing of Colin Thiele. This should come as no great surprise to anyone as Thiele was a quiet man, publicity wise, and Irwin was very much the creation of media hype. There's no ratings for Howard to comment on Thiele, there is, however, publicity for him attached to the Irwin tragedy.
And tragic it is. For Irwin to die in the manner he did is a crying shame. He did more to raise the awareness of conservation in the eyes of youth than anyone else of his generation, following in the footsteps of environmentalists such as Harry Butler. However Irwin enjoyed a prickly relationship with the media in recent years - his handling of his son around crocodiles in 2004 drew worldwide criticism, and sadly Irwin didn't make his life any easier by publicly attacking the media - the same vehicle that raised his profile to the heights it reached. I don't think there were too many people who felt that Irwin would grow old gracefully, his life was one of danger, both real and stage-managed, and sadly it was one of the real dangers that eventually caught him.