It is no secret that when it comes to well-known figures that the older they get, media outlets get packages and obituaries prepared for them beforehand so they can get them out shortly after news hits that they’ve passed away.
After news hit that longtime Cuban ruler Fidel Castro died at the age of 90, newspapers across the country got their obituaries out in short order. Obviously, some of them had been prepping for Castro’s death for so long that those who wrote the obits were no longer working for the papers. And, in at least one case, a co-writer had been deceased himself for more than 10 years!
Then you have the Washington Post. In this instance, their are two names in the byline — Kevin Sullivan and J.Y. Smith. Sullivan is still with the paper, but Smith hasn’t been with the Post since 2006. That’s because he died in January 2006.