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WEBMASTER'S CORNER

The Dead or Alive? website is offering a $10 "per head" reward for any name included on its "People Alive Over 85" page whose status dead or alive has been out of date for more than three days. (Click here to view the current roster of people alive over 85 as compiled by the Dead or Alive? website and click here for details regarding its $10 reward offer.) If you would like to be the first person to win $330, below are thirty-three individuals the site claims are alive who are actually deceased and have been for far longer than three days.

Albanian leader Ramiz Alia (died October 7, 2011)
     (Click here for his New York Times obituary)

Actor R. G. Armstrong (died July 27, 2012)
     (Click here for his New York Times obituary)

Choreographer Gerald Arpino (died October 29, 2008)
     (Click here for his New York Times obituary)

Actress Patricia Blair (died September 9, 2013)
     (Click here for her New York Times obituary)

► Columnist Jimmy Breslin (died March 19, 2017)
     (Click here for his New York Times obituary)

► Heart surgeon Denton Cooley (died November 18, 2016)
     (Click here for his New York Times obituary)

Turkish leader Süleyman Demirel (died June 17, 2015)
     (Click here for his New York Times obituary)

Actress Joan Fontaine (died December 15, 2013)
     (Click here for her New York Times obituary)

Humorist Stan Freberg (died April 7, 2015)
     (Click here for his New York Times obituary)

Singer Eydie Gormé (died August 10, 2013)
     (Click here for her New York Times obituary)

Actor Craig Hill (died April 21, 2014)
     (Click here for his Hollywood Reporter obituary)

Actor John Kerr (died February 2, 2013)
     (Click here for his New York Times obituary)

Singer Julius LaRosa (died May 12, 2016)
     (Click here for his New York Times obituary)

Actor Tom Laughlin (died December 12, 2013)
     (Click here for his New York Times obituary)

South African general Magnus Malan (died July 18, 2011)
     (Click here for his New York Times obituary)

Actor Martin Milner (died September 6, 2015)
     (Click here for his New York Times obituary)

"Mother of Islam" Ruby Muhammad (died March 2, 2011)
     (Click here for her official website)

► Writer Agnes Nixon (died September 28, 2016)
     (Click here for her New York Times obituary)

Actress Maureen O'Hara (died October 24, 2015)
     (Click here for her New York Times obituary)

Writer Robert Pirsig (died April 24, 2017)
     (Click here for his New York Times obituary)

Singer Ray Price (died December 16, 2013)
     (Click here for his New York Times obituary)

Writer Ruth Rendell (died May 2, 2015)
     (Click here for her New York Times obituary)

Banker David Rockefeller (died March 20, 2017)
     (Click here for his New York Times obituary)

Actress Ann Rutherford (died June 11, 2012)
     (Click here for her New York Times obituary)

Politician Richard Schweiker (died July 31, 2015)
     (Click here for his New York Times obituary)

Baseball player Duke Snider (died February 27, 2011)
     (Click here for his New York Times obituary)

Actor G. D. Spradlin (died July 24, 2011)
     (Click here for his New York Times obituary)

Politician Ted Stevens (died August 9, 2010)
     (Click here for his New York Times obituary)

Diplomat Malcolm Toon (died February 12, 2009)
     (Click
here for his listing on the U.S. Department of State's Office of the Historian website)

German president Richard von Weizsäcker (died January 31, 2015)
     (Click here for his New York Times obituary)

Pianist Roger Williams (died October 8, 2011)
     (Click here for his New York Times obituary)

Cartoonist Tom Wilson (died September 16, 2011)
     (Click here for his New York Times obituary)

Producer David L. Wolper (died August 10, 2010)
     (Click here for his New York Times obituary)

There is definitely somebody monitoring and updating the listings on the "People Alive Over 85" page, albeit in a "hit-and-miss" fashion. For example, Chuck Berry died March 18 and was taken off the list. However, Jimmy Breslin, who died March 19, and David Rockefeller, who died March 20, were kept on. But when Chuck Barris passed away March 21, he was removed from the list.

One has to wonder why so many outdated listings – especially those of internationally acclaimed celebrities such as Joan Fontaine and Maureen O'Hara – are kept on. The heading of the "People Alive Over 85" page reads, "Yes, despite some skeptical emails received, all of the following people really are alive...yes, really." And yet, a quick Google search shows they're really not.

The "Instructions" page of the Dead or Alive? website contains the following blurb: "Keep in mind that in the last four years only one mistake has been discovered in the status of an individual listed on the site. That's the single most important and accurate piece of information included and the site is proud of that record. In the case referred to, the individual had died in obscurity and the news had not been widely disseminated."

I feel the veracity of the above statement is utterly meaningless, considering not just one, but at least thirty-three of the listings on the site are wrong. As a webmaster myself, I've certainly experienced my share of mistakes, but I make a point to update my site as soon as I become aware of them.

Be forewarned that if you contact the Dead or Alive? site regarding the above-mentioned errors, your e-mail will be ignored. I've tried several times. If by some inexplicable stroke of luck you are successful in collecting any part of the reward, please let me know. I'm not asking that you split it with me, however. Just the fact that you were able to get thru to the person or persons who monitor the site will be reward enough for me!

Walter Breitzke

Webmaster, Noted Nonagenarians and Centenarians

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Last modified: April 28, 2017