On some level, most of us would either love to write a perfect obituary for someone or have a great obituary written about them.
A well-crafted obituary tells a story and provides greater insight into the person who has passed away. It has pertinent details and dates, but it can also provide some humor and insights.
The more a person has achieved in their life, the more challenging writing an obituary can be. Here are some quotes from five memorable obituaries.
George Herman “Babe” Ruth Jr. was a baseball legend who played Major League Baseball for 22 years, from 1914 through 1935. Ruth was bigger than life, earning the nickname “Sultan of Swat” for his home run heroics. Ruth swatted 714 home runs throughout his career, even though he hit very few in his first four years. He also appeared in 10 movies in his career.
Ruth and his career have been described as charismatic, chaotic, dramatic, tumultuous, and over the top. The iconic personality was born in 1895 and died in 1948 of cancer. Ruth’s body lay in state for two days following his death, with tens of thousands of people waiting in lines to pay their respects.
Princess Diana was born Diana Frances Spencer on July 1, 1961. As the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, she captured the hearts of the world with her grace and beauty.
By the time of her death in a car accident in Paris on August 31, 1997, she had made an indelible impact on the world. Her death was heartbreaking, especially leaving two young boys behind. The world seemed to stop as her funeral and procession took place on Saturday, September 6. Diana was buried in a lead-lined casket weighing nearly a quarter of a ton.
Michael Jackson was a once-in-a-lifetime entertainer who started as a member of the Jackson Five before going on to an enormous solo career. Born August 29, 1858, Michael’s life came to an end on June 25, 2009.
The list of hits from the King of Pop is almost endless, and he had an interesting roster of friends that included Macaulay Caulkin, Chris Tucker, Shirley Temple, and Elizabeth Taylor. While his later career was dotted with controversy, there was no denying his talent.
This novelist, screenwriter, and actor was most famous for the novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the novel In Cold Blood. Born in September 1924, Capote died on August 25, 1984. Born in New Orleans, his early works were labeled “Southern Gothic” and “dark”, while humor crept into later works.
It is said Capote had an IQ of 215, which led to others questioning him often about his outer and inner demons. He died in California, with the coroner listing the cause of death as “Liver failure with complications of phlebitis and multiple drug intoxication”.
The life of Emmit Till was brief and notable. Born in 1941, the 14-year-old African American was abducted, tortured, and lynched in Mississippi in 1955 after he apparently “offended” a white woman in her family’s store.
Today, he is buried in Alsip, Illinois. Emmit’s mother decided to have an open-casket funeral, exposing the world to his bloated, abused body. The photo of Emmit in the coffin became iconic and was a force in the civil rights movement and the search for social justice.
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