With the passing of Gabriel García Márquez, the world has lost one of its greatest visionary writers -- and one of my favorites from the time I was young. Affectionately known as "Gabo" to millions of his fans, he first won international recognition with his masterpiece One Hundred Years of Solitude. I once had the privilege to meet him in Mexico, where he presented me with an inscribed copy that I cherish to this day. As a proud Colombian, a representative and voice for the people of the Americas, and as a master of the "magic realism" genre, he has inspired so many others -- sometimes even to pick up the pen themselves. I offer my thoughts to his family and friends, whom I hope take solace in the fact that Gabo's work will live on for generations to come.