He was charismatic, funny, entertaining, and most importantly dedicated to and loved animals and nature; a real role model for the generation who have lost touch with the fact that there is actually a real (and far more exciting) world out there beyond the confines of your four bedroom walls and the interweb.
Despite all the trappings of celebrity, there was something carnal about Irwin's passion for his work that went beyond mere showmanship for the camera's. There was a real desire for adventure and knowledge, with genuine hope that he was (and would eventually succeed in) educating the world in a breathtaking way.
My favourite memory of Steve Irwin was an episode in which he was hiding up a tree, surrounded by komodo dragons, after having cut his leg open on a rock or something. Shouting to the camera crew, he said something along the lines of "Crikey!They've got a taste for my blood and aint gonna go away till they get it. If I dont make a run for it through them now, in a few days they'll get tired of waiting and eat me from up here." At which point he just legged it through these things which could just rip the shit out of a normal human. And them things were fucking fast too. That desire to live and enjoy all the pleasures and thrills the natural world has conjured makes his passing all the more tragic.
He was a person who knew what he believed in and lived for, something that I'm not sure I can say for myself, and doubt that many people reading this can say about themselves either.
So yeah, bye Steve. You really were the best.