Elizabeth Taylor lived so long, she outlived the man who wrote her obituary! How is that possible?
Magazines, newspapers, and websites commonly have celebrity obituaries waiting in the wings, morbidly waiting for the timely demise of an aging star. Elizabeth Taylor's 4,000 word obituary was held in reserve for many years as it was “too good to throw away.” There's nothing weird about that—until you learn that the obituary's writer died six years before Elizabeth Taylor did.
Mel Gussow was a theater critic and wrote for the New York Times for 35 years. He died in 2005 at the age of 71 to cancer, but his byline still showed up on Elizabeth Taylor's obituary when she died in 2011—a real blast from the past.
Other celebrities who outlived their obituary writers include Bob Hope, who passed away in 2003. The writer, Vincent Canby, died in 2000, but had such lovely things to say that they published the obituary with a deceased byline. “His piece was terrific, and we felt our readers would enjoy, and learn from, his last word on Hope.”
It must be a real victory to be able to outlive someone who expects your passing any day now, as morbid as that may sound.