About the First Paragraph of Your Obituary …

 

About the First Paragraph of Your Obituary ...

Last week, I picked up the July 28 issue of The New Yorker and was fascinated to see a story titled: “All the Answers: The quiz-show scandals—and the aftermath,” by Charles Van Doren. For 50 years, Charles Van Doren has been consigned to living hell. He’s one of the few notable Americans (along with Bill Clinton) who knows that he screwed up so badly that the first paragraph of his obituary will deal with a major scandal rather than his accomplishments. Three examples of unfortunate first paragraphs: Richard M. Nixon, the 37th president of the United States—a polarizing figure who won a record landslide