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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. Obituaries tend to focus on positive aspects of the deceased.

Female journalists always ended up writing the obituaries and the ladies' page. ~ Margaret Atwood


  • I will pass over my flirtation with journalism as a way of making a living, an idea I dropped when I discovered that in the fifties — unlike now — female journalists always ended up writing the obituaries and the ladies' page.
  • Three decades ago, my Midwestern friend, Joe Rosenfield, then in his 80s, received an irritating letter from his local newspaper. In blunt words, the paper asked for biographical data it planned to use in Joe’s obituary. Joe didn’t respond. So? A month later, he got a second letter from the paper, this one labeled “URGENT.”
  • It is my ambition to be, as a private individual, abolished and voided from history, leaving it markless, no refuse save the printed books... It is my aim, and every effort bent, that the sum and history of my life, which in the same sentence is my obit and epitaph too, shall be them both: He made the books and he died.
    • William Faulkner, Letter to Malcolm Cowley (11 February 1949), quoted in William Faulkner : A Critical Essay (1970) by Martin Jarrett-Kerr, p. 46; also published in Selected Letters of William Faulkner (1978) by Joseph Blotner, p. 286
  • Decency is not news; it is buried in the obituaries — but it is a force stronger than crime.
  • I scrolled on down to the obituaries. I usually read the obituaries first as there is always the happy chance that one of them will make my day.
  • In his prime, the young comic walked onto a stage with the confidence of a man who owned it, and by the time he walked off, he did.
    • Bob Hope Obituary, Television Week, 4 August 2003]
  • Luciano Pavarotti, who has died aged 71 of pancreatic cancer, grew up in the 1940s listening to the previous golden generation of tenor stars on record and radio... His family were enthusiastically musical and, aged four, he was apparently standing on the kitchen table singing the Duke of Mantua's La donna é mobile from Rigoletto as a party trick. He modelled himself on what he heard, and used recordings to take account of the competition, dead or alive, throughout his career. Nature equipped him with one of the most individual, unmistakable and beautiful voices there has been.

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