Overlooked (obituary feature)

Overlooked is a recurring feature[1] in The New York Times Obituaries section that was started on March 8, 2018 (International Women's Day) to honor remarkable people, mostly women, whose deaths had been overlooked by editors of that section since its creation in 1851.[2] The feature was introduced with the following statement, "Since 1851, obituaries in The New York Times have been dominated by white men. Now, we're adding the stories of other remarkable people".[3] The project was created by Amisha Padnani,[4] the digital editor of the obituaries desk,[5] and Jessica Bennett, The New York Times's "first gender editor".[6]

In May 2018, it was announced that The New York Times would be partnering with Paramount Television, Anonymous Content, and 3dot Productions to convert Overlooked into a scripted anthology series, with ten episodes per season, each episode dedicated to one overlooked woman. The episodes will be written and directed by women.[7]

Almost one year into the project, its creator Amisha Padnani, announced the expansion of the series in honor of Black History Month and wrote that readers' suggestions about who to write "have yielded some of the most-read obituaries".[8]

First Issue

On March 8, 2018, the first issue published fifteen obituaries:

  1. Ida B. Wells, (1862 - 1931), "took on racism in the deep south with powerful reporting on lynchings"[9]
  2. Qiu Jin, (1875 - 1907), "beheaded by imperial forces, was 'China's Joan of Arc'"[10]
  3. Mary Ewing Outerbridge, (1852 - 1886), "helped bring tennis to the United States"[11]
  4. Diane Arbus, (1923 - 1971), "a photographer, whose portraits have compelled or repelled generations of viewers"[12]
  5. Marsha P. Johnson, (1945 - 2002), "a transgender pioneer and activist"
  6. Sylvia Plath, (1932 - 1963), "a postwar poet unafraid to confront her despair"
  7. Henrietta Lacks, (1920 - 1951), "whose cells lead to a medical revolution"
  8. Madhubala, (1933 - 1969), "a Bollywood legend whose tragic life mirrored Marilyn Monroe's"
  9. Emily Warren Roebling, (1843 - 1903), "the woman behind the man who built the Brooklyn bridge"
  10. Nella Larsen, (1891 - 1964), "wrestled with race and sexuality in the Harlem renaissance"
  11. Ada Lovelace, (1815 - 1852), "mathematician who wrote the first computer program"
  12. Margaret Abbott, (1878 - 1955), "an unwitting olympic trailblazer"
  13. Belkis Ayón, (1967 - 1999), "a Cuban printmaker inspired by a secret male society"
  14. Charlotte Brontë, (1816 - 1855), "Novelist known for 'Jane Eyre'"
  15. Lillias Campbell Davidson, (1853 - 1934), "an early advocate for women's cycling"

Black History Month Coverage

During February 2019, in honor of Black History Month, a special edition of Overlooked was dedicated to "a prominent group of black men and women" who were not examined at the time of their deaths.[13]

  1. Gladys Bentley, (1907 - 1960), "a gender bending blues performer who became 1920s Harlem royalty".
  2. Scott Joplin, (1867 - 1917), "a pianist and ragtime master who wrote 'The Entertainer' and the groundbreaking opera 'Treemonisha'.
  3. Margaret Garner, (1833 - 1858), "who killed her own daughter rather than return her to the horrors of slavery".
  4. Major Taylor, (1878 - 1932), "a world champion bicycle racer whose fame was undermined by prejudice".
  5. Zelda Wynn Valdes, (1905 - 2001), "a fashion designer who outfitted the glittery stars of screen and stage".
  6. Alfreid Hair, (1941 - 1970), "a charismatic businessman who created a movement for Florida’s black artists".
  7. Nina Mae McKinney, (1912 - 1957), "an actress who defied the barrier of race to find stardom in Europe".
  8. Granville T. Woods, (1856 - 1910), "an inventor known as the 'Black Edison'".
  9. Oscar Micheaux, (1884 - 1951), "a pioneering filmmaker prefiguring independent directors like Spike Lee and Tyler Perry".
  10. Mary Ellen Pleasant, (1814 - 1907), "born into slavery, she became a Gold Rush-era millionaire and a powerful abolitionist".
  11. Elizabeth Jennings, (1827 - 1901), "Life experiences primed her to fight for racial equality. Her moment came on a streetcar ride to church."
  12. Philip A. Payton Jr., (1876 - 1917), "a real estate magnate who turned Harlem into a black mecca".
  13. Moses Fleetwood Walker, (1857 - 1924), "the first black baseball player in the big leagues, even before Jackie Robinson".

Continuous Coverage

Since its introductory issue composed of fifteen obituaries, the feature has continued to be a part of The New York Times Obituaries section, publishing a new obituary weekly. The online titles of these obituaries start with the phrase, "Overlooked no more", followed by the name of the person and a short phrase that summarizes the contributions by the person.

  1. Mabel Grammer, "whose brown baby plan found homes for hundreds", published February 6, 2019 [14]
  2. Forough Farrokhzad, "Iranian poet, who broke barriers of sex and society", published January 30, 2019 [15]
  3. Mabel Stark, "fearless tiger trainer", published January 23, 2019 [16]
  4. Isabelle Kelley, "developed a food stamp program to feed millions", published January 16, 2019 [17]
  5. Laura De Force Gordon, "suffragist, journalist and lawyer", published January 9, 2019 [18]
  6. Karen Spärck Jones, "established the basis for search engines", published January 2, 2019 [19]
  7. Gertrude Beasley, "wrote an uncompromising memoir, then vanished", published December 19, 2018
  8. Elizabeth Keckly, "dressmaker and confidante to Mary Todd Lincoln", published December 12, 2018
  9. Charley Parkhurst, "gold rush legend with a hidden identity", published December 5, 2018 [20]
  10. Noor Inayat Khan, "Indian princess and British spy", published November 28, 2018
  11. Lilian Jeannette Rice, "architect who lifted a style in California", published November 21, 2018
  12. Pandita Ramabai, "Indian scholar, feminist and educator", published November 14, 2018
  13. Jackie Mitchell, "fanned two of the baseball's greats", published November 7, 2018
  14. Miki Gorman, "the unlikely winner of the marathon", published October 31, 2018
  15. Rose Zar, "a holocaust survivor who hid in plain sight", published October 24, 2018
  16. Kin Yamei, "the Chinese doctor who introduced tofu to the West", published October 17, 2018
  17. Annemarie Schwarzenbach, "author, photographer, and 'ravaged angel'", published October 10, 2018
  18. Minnie Mae Freeman Penney, "Nebraska's fearless maid", published October 3, 2018
  19. Voltairine de Cleyre, "America's 'greatest woman anarchist'", published September 26, 2018
  20. Ana Mendieta, "a Cuban artist who pushed boundaries", published September 19, 2018
  21. Marthe McKenna, "nurse who spied for the British in World War I", published September 12, 2018
  22. Melitta Bentz, "invented the coffee filter", published September 5, 2018
  23. Ruby Payne-Scott, "explored space with radio waves", published August 29, 2018
  24. Doria Shafik, "led Egypt's women liberation movement", published August 22, 2018
  25. Matilda Sissieretta Joyner Jones, "a soprano that shattered racial barriers", published August 15, 2018
  26. Julia Sand, "whose letters inspired a president", published August 8, 2018
  27. Clara Lemlich, "crusading leader of labor rights", published August 1, 2018
  28. Edmonia Lewis, "sculptor or worldwide acclaim", published July 25, 2018
  29. Beatrice Tinsley, "astronomer who saw the course of the universe", published July 18, 2018
  30. Bette Nesmith Graham, "invented liquid paper", published July 11, 2018
  31. Emma Gatewood, "first woman to conquer the Appalachian trail alone", published June 27, 2018
  32. Amrita Sher-Gil, "a pioneer of Indian art", published June 21, 2018
  33. Fannie Farmer, "modern cookery's pioneer", published June 14, 2018
  34. Mary Ann Shadd, "shook up the abolitionist movement", published June 7, 2018
  35. Sophia Perovskaya, "the Russian icon who was hanged for killing a czar", published May 31, 2018
  36. Esther Hobart Morris, "she followed a trail to Wyoming. Then she blazed one.", published May 24, 2018
  37. Margarita Xirgu, "theater radical who staged Lorca's plays", published May 17, 2018
  38. Leticia Ramos-Shahani, "a Philippine women's rights pioneer", published May 10, 2018
  39. Julia de Burgos, "a poet who helped shape Puerto Rico's identity", published May 3, 2018
  40. Maria Bochkareva, "led women into battle in WWI", published April 26, 2018
  41. Harriot Daley, "the Capitol's first telephone operator", published April 17, 2018
  42. Lin Huiyin and Liang Sicheng, "chroniclers of Chinese architecture", published April 11, 2018
  43. Bessie Stringfield, "the motorcycle queen of Miami", published April 4, 2018
  44. Yu Gwan-Sun, "a Korean independence activist who defied Japanese rule", published March 29, 2018
  45. Ruth Wakefield, "invented the chocolate chip cookie", published March 22, 2018
  46. Alison Hargreaves, "conquered Everest solo and without bottled oxygen", published March 15, 2018


  1. ^ Stevens, Heidi. "NYT runs obits for 'overlooked' women on International Women's Day". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  2. ^ ""We want to address these inequities of our time": NYT starts new series featuring overlooked obituaries". www.cbsnews.com. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  3. ^ Padnani, Amisha; Bennett, Jessica (2018-03-08). "Remarkable People We Overlooked in Our Obituaries". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  4. ^ "The New York Times Is Writing Obituaries for the Historical Women They Ignored". InStyle.com. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  5. ^ Padnani, Amisha (2018-03-08). "How an Obits Project on Overlooked Women Was Born". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  6. ^ Times, The New York (2017-12-13). "Jessica Bennett, Our New Gender Editor, Answers Your Questions". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  7. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (2018-05-21). "'Overlooked' Female Anthology Series Based On NY Times Obituaries Feature Set At Anonymous Content & Paramount TV". Deadline. Retrieved 2019-01-17.
  8. ^ Padnani, Amisha (2019-01-31). "A Year Into the Overlooked Project, Widening the Lens". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-02-17.
  9. ^ Dickerson, Caitlin (2018-03-08). "Ida B. Wells, Who Took on Racism in the Deep South With Powerful Reporting on Lynchings". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-11.
  10. ^ Qin, Amy (2018-03-08). "Qiu Jin, Beheaded by Imperial Forces, Was 'China's Joan of Arc'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-11.
  11. ^ Padnani, Amisha (2018-03-08). "Mary Ewing Outerbridge, Who Helped Bring Tennis to the United States". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-17.
  12. ^ Estrin, James (2018-03-08). "Diane Arbus Called Her Portraits 'A Secret About a Secret'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-17.
  13. ^ Padnani, Amisha; Chambers, Veronica (2019-01-31). "For Black History Month, Remarkable Women and Men We Overlooked Since 1851". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-02-17.
  14. ^ "Overlooked No More: Mabel Grammer, Whose Brown Baby Plan Found Homes for Hundreds". The New York Times. 2019-02-06. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-02-09.
  15. ^ "Overlooked No More: Forough Farrokhzad, Iranian Poet Who Broke Barriers of Sex and Society". The New York Times. 2019-01-30. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-02-09.
  16. ^ "Overlooked No More: Mabel Stark, Fearless Tiger Trainer". The New York Times. 2019-01-23. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  17. ^ "Overlooked No More: Isabelle Kelley, Who Developed a Food Stamp Program to Feed Millions". The New York Times. 2019-01-16. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-16.
  18. ^ "Overlooked No More: Laura de Force Gordon, Suffragist, Journalist and Lawyer". The New York Times. 2019-01-09. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  19. ^ "Overlooked No More: Karen Sparck Jones, Who Established the Basis for Search Engines". The New York Times. 2019-01-02. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-16.
  20. ^ "Overlooked No More: Charley Parkhurst, Gold Rush Legend With a Hidden Identity". The New York Times. 2018-12-05. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-16.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.