An obituary (obit for short) is a news article that reports the recent death of a person, typically along with an account of the person's life and information about the upcoming funeral.[1] In large cities and larger newspapers, obituaries are written only for people considered significant.[1] In local newspapers, an obituary may be published for any local resident upon death. A necrology is a register or list of records of the deaths of people related to a particular organization, group or field, which may only contain the sparsest details, or small obituaries. Historical necrologies can be important sources of information.

Two types of paid advertisements are related to obituaries. One, known as a death notice, omits most biographical details and may be a legally required public notice under some circumstances. The other type, a paid memorial advertisement, is usually written by family members or friends, perhaps with assistance from a funeral home.[1] Both types of paid advertisements are usually run as classified advertisements.

Louis Julius Freudenberg I (1894–1918) composite obituary in the Hudson Observer on November 22, 1918
American obituary for WWI death
Traditional street obituary notes in Bulgaria

Premature obituaries

A premature obituary is a false reporting of the death of a person who is still alive. It may occur due to unexpected survival of someone who was close to death. Other reasons for such publication might be miscommunication between newspapers, family members, and the funeral home, often resulting in embarrassment for everyone involved.

Irish author Brendan Behan said that there is no such thing as bad publicity except dying in a toilet. In this regard, some people will seek to have an unsuspecting newspaper editor publish a premature death notice or obituary as a malicious hoax, perhaps to gain revenge on the "deceased". To that end, nearly all newspapers now have policies requiring that death notices come from a reliable source (such as a funeral home), though even this has not stopped some pranksters such as Alan Abel.[2]


Many news organisations have pre-written (or pre-edited video) obituaries on file for notable individuals who are still living, allowing detailed, authoritative, and lengthy obituaries to appear very quickly after their death. The Los Angeles Times' obituary of Elizabeth Taylor, for example, was written in 1999 after three months of research, then often updated before the actress' 2011 death.[3] Sometimes the prewritten obituary's subject outlives its author; an example is The New York Times' obituary of Taylor, written by the newspaper's theater critic Mel Gussow, who died in 2005.[4]

Obituaries are a notable feature of The Economist, which publishes one full-page obituary per week, reflecting on the subject's life and influence on world history. Past subjects have ranged from Ray Charles to Uday Hussein.

The British Medical Journal encourages doctors to write their own obituaries for publication after their death.

Pan Books publishes a series called The Daily Telegraph Book of Obituaries, which are anthologies of obituaries under a common theme, such as military obituaries, sports obituaries, heroes and adventurers, entertainers, rogues, eccentric lives, etc.

For numerous summer seasons, CBC Radio One has run The Late Show, a radio documentary series which presents extended obituaries of interesting Canadians.

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Talk to the Newsroom: Obituaries Editor Bill McDonald". The New York Times. September 25, 2006. Retrieved 2008-07-28. The paid notices are classified ads. They're gathered and placed in the paper or on the Web by the classified advertising department, which operates independently of the news department.... despite any misconceptions to the contrary, no one pays for an obit that appears as a news story.
  2. ^ The NY Times wrote his first obit in 1980 — but prankster Alan Abel died last week at 94 CBC Radio, September 19, 2018
  3. ^ Woo, Elaine (2011-03-23). "Elizabeth Taylor's obituary: outtakes from a 12-year work in progress". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
  4. ^ Gussow, Mel (2011-03-23). "Elizabeth Taylor, Lifelong Screen Star, Dies at 79". The New York Times. Retrieved March 23, 2011.

Further reading

  • Baranick, Alana; Sheeler, Jim; Miller, Stephen (2005). Life on the Death Beat: A Handbook for Obituary Writers. Oak Park: Marion Street Press. ISBN 1-933338-02-4.
  • Johnson, Marilyn (2007). The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, And The Perverse Pleasure of Obituaries. New York: Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-06-075876-7.
  • Massingberd, Hugh (2001). Daydream Believer: Confessions of a Hero-Worshipper. London: Macmillan. p. 245. ISBN 0-333-69287-X.

External links

2016 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 2016.

2019 in the United Kingdom

Events from the year 2019 in the United Kingdom.

Alfred Nobel

Alfred Bernhard Nobel (; Swedish: [ˈalfrɛd nʊˈbɛlː] (listen); 21 October 1833 – 10 December 1896) was a Swedish businessman, chemist, engineer, inventor, and philanthropist.

Nobel held 355 different patents, dynamite being the most famous. The synthetic element nobelium was named after him.Known for inventing dynamite, Nobel also owned Bofors, which he had redirected from its previous role as primarily an iron and steel producer to a major manufacturer of cannon and other armaments.

After reading a premature obituary which condemned him for profiting from the sales of arms, he bequeathed his fortune to institute the Nobel Prizes.His name also survives in modern-day companies such as Dynamit Nobel and AkzoNobel, which are descendants of mergers with companies Nobel himself established.

Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society

The Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society is an academic journal on the history of science published annually by the Royal Society. It publishes obituaries of Fellows of the Royal Society. It was established in 1932 as Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society and obtained its current title in 1955, with volume numbering restarting at 1. Prior to 1932, obituaries were published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society.

The memoirs are a significant historical record and most include a full bibliography of works by the subjects. The memoirs are often written by a scientist of the next generation, often one of the subject's own former students, or a close colleague. In many cases the author is also a Fellow. Notable biographies published in this journal include Albert Einstein, Alan Turing, Bertrand Russell, Claude Shannon, Clement Attlee, Ernst Mayr, and Erwin Schrödinger.Each year around 20 to 25 memoirs of deceased Fellows of the Royal Society are collated by the Editor-in-Chief, currently Malcolm Longair, who succeeded Trevor Stuart in 2016. All content more than one year old is freely available to read.

Candlelight Records

Candlelight Records is a British record label based in England and founded by former Extreme Noise Terror bassist Lee Barrett, though it has had a division in the United States since January 2001. Candlelight Records specialises in black metal, and later on melodic death metal and death metal, having bands such as Emperor, Obituary, 1349, Theatre of Tragedy, Xerath, Dismember, Keep of Kalessin, TheLord, Nachtmystium, KKDT42 and Zyklon on its roster. The label is notable for putting out early releases from influential bands such as TheLord, Opeth and Emperor. Candlelight Records is in co-operation with Appease Me Records and AFM Records. In January 19, 2016, Candlelight was acquired by Spinefarm Records.

Death metal

Death metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. It typically employs heavily distorted and low-tuned guitars, played with techniques such as palm muting and tremolo picking, deep growling vocals, aggressive, powerful drumming featuring double kick and blast beat techniques, minor keys or atonality, abrupt tempo, key, and time signature changes, and chromatic chord progressions. The lyrical themes of death metal may invoke slasher film-stylized violence, religion (sometimes Satanism), occultism, Lovecraftian horror, nature, mysticism, mythology, philosophy, science fiction, and politics, and they may describe extreme acts, including mutilation, dissection, torture, rape, cannibalism, and necrophilia.

Building from the musical structure of thrash metal and early black metal, death metal emerged during the mid-1980s. Bands such as Venom, Celtic Frost, Slayer, and Kreator were important influences on the genre's creation. Possessed, Death, Necrophagia, Obituary, Autopsy, and Morbid Angel are often considered pioneers of the genre. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, death metal gained more media attention as popular genre. Niche record labels like Combat, Earache, and Roadrunner began to sign death metal bands at a rapid rate.Since then, death metal has diversified, spawning several subgenres. Melodic death metal combines death metal elements with those of the new wave of British heavy metal. Technical death metal is a complex style, with uncommon time signatures, atypical rhythms, and unusual harmonies and melodies. Death-doom combines the deep growled vocals and double-kick drumming of death metal with the slow tempos and melancholic atmosphere of doom metal. Deathgrind, goregrind, and pornogrind mix the complexity of death metal with the intensity, speed, and brevity of grindcore. Deathcore combines death metal with metalcore traits. Death 'n' roll combines death metal's growled vocals and highly distorted, detuned guitar riffs with elements of 1970s hard rock and heavy metal.

Deaths in February 1999

The following is a list of notable deaths in February 1999.

Entries for each day are listed alphabetically by surname. A typical entry lists information in the following sequence:

Name, age, country of citizenship at birth, subsequent country of citizenship (if applicable), reason for notability, cause of death (if known), and reference.

Deaths in January 1999

The following is a list of notable deaths in January 1999.

Entries for each day are listed alphabetically by surname. A typical entry lists information in the following sequence:

Name, age, country of citizenship at birth, subsequent country of citizenship (if applicable), reason for notability, cause of death (if known), and reference.

List of Fellows of the Royal Society elected in 1893

Fellows of the Royal Society elected in 1893.

List of Fellows of the Royal Society elected in 1894

Fellows of the Royal Society elected in 1894.

List of Fellows of the Royal Society elected in 1899

Fellows of the Royal Society elected in 1899.

List of Fellows of the Royal Society elected in 1908

This is a list of Fellows of the Royal Society elected in 1908.

List of Fellows of the Royal Society elected in 1910

This is a list of Fellows of the Royal Society elected in 1910.

List of Fellows of the Royal Society elected in 1921

This page lists Fellows of the Royal Society elected in 1921.

List of premature obituaries

A premature obituary is an obituary of someone who was still alive at the time of publication. Examples include that of inventor, businessman, and chemist Alfred Nobel, whose premature obituary condemning him as a "merchant of death" may have prompted him to create the Nobel Prize; black nationalist Marcus Garvey, whose actual death may have been precipitated by reading his own obituary; and actor Abe Vigoda, who was the subject of so many premature obituaries that a website was created to state whether he was alive or dead.

This article lists the recipients of incorrect death reports (not just formal obituaries) from publications, media organisations, official bodies, and widely used information sources such as the Internet Movie Database; but not mere rumours of deaths, nor reports from sites which feature automated death hoax stories designed to draw in page clicks from specific web searches. People who were presumed (though not categorically declared) to be dead, and joke death reports that were widely believed, are also included.

Obituary (band)

Obituary is an American death metal band formed in Tampa, Florida, in 1984. Initially called Executioner, the band changed its name to Xecutioner in 1986 to avoid confusion with the thrash metal band Executioner from Boston, and then changed its name once again to Obituary in 1988. The band's current lineup consists of vocalist John Tardy, drummer Donald Tardy, rhythm guitarist Trevor Peres, bassist Terry Butler, and lead guitarist Kenny Andrews. Obituary has gone through several lineup changes, with the Tardy brothers and Peres being the only constant members. The band was a fundamental act in the development of death metal music, and is one of the most successful death metal bands of all time. To date, Obituary has released ten studio albums, and with the exception of their 1997–2003 split, they continue to perform live around the world. Their music is based around heavily groove based riffs and drumming along with John Tardy's barking vocals, which create their signature brand of death metal.

Ralph Santolla

Ralph Santolla (December 8, 1966 – June 6, 2018) was an Italian-American heavy metal guitarist. He played in many bands, most recently Deicide, but also including Eyewitness, Death (he never recorded any of their albums, but toured with them in 1993 and appeared in "The Philosopher" video), Millenium, Iced Earth, and the Sebastian Bach band. In 2007, he replaced Allen West in Obituary for their album Xecutioner's Return. Santolla was very proud of his Italian heritage and he played guitars by Jackson and Ibanez with the Italian flag painted on them. He most recently played Jackson Guitars, though he had also been associated with ESP Guitars, Dean Guitars and many others. He also used Randall Amplifiers. He was well known for his shred guitar playing style.

Sheffield Scientific School

Sheffield Scientific School was founded in 1847 as a school of Yale College in New Haven, Connecticut for instruction in science and engineering. Originally named the Yale Scientific School, it was renamed in 1861 in honor of Joseph E. Sheffield, a railroad executive. The school was incorporated in 1871. The Sheffield Scientific School helped establish the model for the transition of U.S. higher education from a classical model to one which incorporated both the sciences and the liberal arts. Following World War I, however, its curriculum gradually became completely integrated with Yale College. "The Sheff" ceased to function as a separate entity in 1956.


X-Statix are a team of mutant superheroes appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The team was specifically designed to be media superstars. The team, created by Peter Milligan and Mike Allred, first appears in X-Force No. 116 and originally assumed the moniker X-Force, taking the name of the more traditional superhero team, who appear in No. 117 claiming to be "the real X-Force".

In medicine
After death

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