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He lived simply. He sheltered on the side of a mountain outside Yosemite National Park, grew his own food and woke up every morning to one of the most magnificent views in California. The world may never have known him if not for a spectacular double rainbow.
Vasquez, the portly man whose cries of exaltation at a double rainbow turned him into a viral star, died at 57 on Saturday. The Mariposa County Coroner's Office confirmed his death to CNN.
"Bear" lived in relative solitude for much of his life. But his sincere love of nature -- and rainbows in particular -- endeared him to millions.
In January 2010, he stepped out of his home to find two brilliant rainbows, stacked on top of each other, stretched across the mountainous horizon. The awesome sight moved him to tears. Naturally, he recorded it.
"Oh my god, it's a full-on double rainbow all the way across the sky!" he whispers in the video before letting out a full-bellied yell.
He shared the soul-baring clip on YouTube with little expectation. But within days, it had racked up millions of views -- and today, it's got 47 million and counting.
He became a minor celebrity because of it. He appeared on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," in ads for Microsoft and Smartwater and even in an in-flight safety video for Delta Air Lines.
"I'm the world's authority on rainbows," he told CNN in 2015.