"By writing or reading obituaries, we can discover ways to make our time on earth more worthwhile, more productive, more meaningful to others."
Alana Baranick, "Life on the Death Beat"

"'I always read the obituaries in The Times,' I explained to her. 'They make me bloody glad to be alive.'"
John Mortimer, "Rumpole's Return"

Jerry Dzikowicz

A compelling story about a guy who hung out on a street corner -- via the Vancouver Sun

Stewart Udall

This Secretary of the the Interior fought for the environment -- via the New York Times

Robert White

Test pilot, war hero was first to fly winged vehicle into space -- via Bob White Web site

Jane Sherman

Dancer and writer -- via the New York Times

Jack Hirshberg

Hollywood publicist during the Golden Age -- via the Hollywood Reporter

Charles Muscatine

Chaucer scholar fought for free speech as well -- via the New York Times

Fess Parker

Iconic actor played both Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett, in film and on TV -- via the Hollywood Reporter and the L.A. Times

And remember, America was really not P.C. in those days . . .

H.M. Koutoukas

 Koutoukas (second from right) and others at the legendary Cafe Cino.
Playwright and actor was outrageous member of New York avant-garde theater scene -- via the New York Times

Alex Chilton

Rock musician, songwriting genius -- via the New York Times and Pitchfork

Charlie Gillett

Gillett, right, digs through some tunes.

This amazing man wrote one of the first histories of rock and roll -- and spent years on the radio in England turning people on to new kinds of music. Oh yes, and he discovered Dire Straits. Not bad! Via the Guardian

Carmen Capalbo

This director and producer (far left in photo above) mounted the long-running Off Broadway production of "The Threepenny Opera" and won Lotte Lenya a Tony. P.S. -- he commissioned Lou Reed to write "Walk on the Wild Side."

Ron Lundy

A legendary top-40 AM DJ -- via the New York Times

Tim Holland

Backgammon master -- via the New York Times


Robot pal that explored the ocean floor -- via the New York Times

Charles Moore

The man who took this photograph and many more documenting the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s -- via the New York Times

Carol Clerk

UK music writer Carol Clerk wrote a great tome about The Pogues, among other works -- via The Quietus, Music That I Like and Facebook

Lesley Duncan

Singer/songwriter Lesley Duncan wrote one of the best love songs ever -- titled, appropriately, "Love Song." She recorded it with Elton John on his "Tumbleweed Connection" album. She sang backup on "Dark Side of the Moon" as well. Via NME

Patrick O'Connor

It's a bit late, but here's someone with no formal education or special advantages who by sheer dint of will became an excellent writer and connoisseur of the arts -- via the Times of London and the Guardian. Bravo, sir!

Miguel Delibes

Prolific Spanish writer was well-loved -- via the Guardian and Yahoo News

Peter Graves

The iconic 60's actor was unafraid to spoof his own image -- via the New York Times and the L.A. Times