An obituary (the root of the word is obit, Latin for “death”) is a news report of someone’s death, often with a biographical sketch of the deceased. Obituaries typically appear within days or a week after the subject has died. Usually appearing in a newspaper, an obituary not only announces the fact of the individual’s passing but also offers an account of the texture and significance of his or her life. An obituary differs from a death (or funeral) notice, which is a paid announcement of the death and funeral details written by family members and placed in a newspaper by either the family or the funeral home.


If one includes memorial walls and stones left to honor kings and heroes, the obituary dates back to ...

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