Newspapers: Anticipating Death

Even as Winston Churchill lingered between life and death last week, the press obituaries began to flow. Just three hours after his stroke, United Press International began moving 20,000 words that touched on every facet of his career. Columnists Marquis Childs, David Lawrence and James Reston, among many others, turned out past-tense tributes that read as if Churchill were already dead. "The advance obit writers had an easy time with Winston Churchill," Reston wrote. "He had anticipated all the great crises of life, even his own death.'

U.P.I, first began writing Churchill's obituary,...

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