The moment Umberto Eco died, I was crossing a street in Hamburg. Of course, I did not know, I only heard about it the next morning. But how often does a philosopher die and you hear it in the news the next morning.
There is currently a lot of discussion about the role and impact of philosophy. Eco has shown one way of doing it. He was a professor of philosophy, a political intelectual, and an author of novels some of which became interantional best sellers. He did not confine himself to writing peer reviewed papers to be published in journals nearly nobody is reading. Maybe not many people can do it the way he did, it requires a certain personality type, a mix of abilities that might be rare, but by looking at what he did, one can learn something (and by reading his books, both the theoretical ones and the works of fiction).
He will be missed. Who is going to fill that gap?
(The picture is from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Umberto_Eco_01.jpg.)