Death, be not proud. But for the sake of the dearly departed, please give them a worthy obituary.
Mo Rocca, the “CBS Sunday Morning” correspondent and all-around expert at making learning entertaining, is a self-admitted fan of obits of the famous. So much so, in fact, that his new book, “Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving,” revisits celebrities who deserved a better send off and remembers some forgotten heroes.
Oh, and there’s also a fond death notice for the American station wagon, 1949-2011, a vehicle gone too soon. Ford Country Squire circa 1979, we hardly knew ye.
It’s familiar turf for the humorous, eclectic Rocca, who hosts “The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation,” the Daytime Emmy-winning weekly show aimed at young viewers. It salutes historic inventors and their breakthroughs while also introducing some contemporary visionaries.
Here are five highlights from “Mobituaries” that could, er, knock ‘em dead.
Beau Brummell: Roughly 200 years before social media influencers, there was this elegant fashion plate who became famous for rewriting men’s style (and earned a reference in Billy Joel’s “It’s Still Rock ‘N’ Roll to Me.’
Herbert Hoover: Best known as the goat of the Great Depression, this president was actually the GOAT of humanitarians who led America’s effort to save starving populations in post-World War I Europe. According to Rocca, some estimate he saved a hundred million lives.
Vaughn Meader: Largely unknown today, he was globally famous in the early 1960s for his spot-on impersonation of President John F. Kennedy and his runaway best-selling parody album “The First Family.”
The dozen men and women who were honored by having rest stops named after them on the New Jersey Turnpike.
Disco: Enough said.