Menotti Obit

Composer Gian Carlo Menotti died yesterday. While I was at NPR, I prepared an obit for him more than a year ago (I think it was more than two years ago), and it aired yesterday on “All Things Considered.”

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2 thoughts on “Menotti Obit

  1. So does NPR make premeditated obits on all famous people? Or was he sick a year ago and they thought that he was about to pass on?

    Do you feel you kinda doomed him…?

    Hmmm…

  2. Actually, they’re called “advance obits” not “premeditated” ones. And the joke, at least in my unit at NPR, was that whenever we did an advance obit on someone – we were guaranteeing them many more years of life (because, in the past, people with advance obits on file have lived on for a long time).

    It’s standard practice for most, if not all, major news organizations to have advance obits on file for famous people who are ill or elderly. How else do you think all that obit material gets broadcast or published just hours after someone dies?

    In order to do proper justice to someone’s life, it’s better to prepare their obit when there isn’t any rush. I did a bunch of obits in my time at NPR, and each time I felt a sense or responsibility to do the person’s life justice. And the more time you have to research and prepare, the better job you can do.

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