144 Fascinating People Who Died In 2012 | KCUR

144 Fascinating People Who Died In 2012

Dec 11, 2012

The late comedian George Burns once said: "Every morning when I get up, I read the obituary page. If my name's not there, I shave."


Obituaries are often the only "15 minutes of fame" you read about most individuals. And one of the best writers of obituaries? The New York Times. The paper chronicles lives of the famous and infamous, the well-known...and those who should have been better known.

In the final portion of Tuesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with The Times' William McDonald, who has pulled some of the most interesting obituaries of 2012 together in a new book, The Socialite Who Killed a Nazi with her Bare Hands and 143 other Fascinating People who Died this Past Year.  

William McDonald is editor of The Obits: The New York Times Annual 2012 and has been obituaries editor at the Times since 2006. He started at the newspaper in 1988 and has held a number of editing positions there on its Metro, National, and Culture desks. He was part of the team that won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for the series “How Race Is Lived in America” and has edited several other major Times projects. Bill began his newspaper career as a reporter and editor in Connecticut at the Greenwich Time and was an editor at Newsday on Long Island before moving to the Times.