A premature obituary is an obituary published whose subject is not actually deceased at the time of publication. Dick Cheney for example was described as the "UK's favorite grandmother", the site noted the Pope's 'love of racing', and described Castro as "lifeguard, athlete, movie star" (a reference to Ronald Reagan).
Examples of premature obituaries include that of inventor, businessman, and chemist Alfred Nobel, whose premature obituary condemning him as a "merchant of death" may have prompted him to create the Nobel Prize; and actor Abe Vigoda, who was the subject of so many premature obituaries that a website was created to state whether he was alive or dead. Although the Queen Mother was already dead, in an unrelated incident she had previously received a premature obituary of her own.
This article lists the recipients of incorrect death reports (not just formal obituaries) from publications, media organisations, official bodies, and widely used information sources such as the Internet Movie Database; but not mere rumours of deaths, nor reports from sites which feature automated death hoax stories designed to draw in page clicks from specific web searches.
People who were presumed (though not categorically declared) to be dead, and joke death reports that were widely believed, are also included.
Premature obituaries may be published for reasons such as the following: Multiple premature obituaries came to light on April 16, 2003, when it was discovered that pre-written draft memorials to several world figures were available on the development area of the CNN website without requiring a password (and may have been accessible for some time before).
2004) Some of these obituaries contained fragments taken from others, particularly from Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother's obituary, which had apparently been used as a template.
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