The political skill to turn situations to his advantage, rather than any ability to mobilise people, made Angolan president José Eduardo dos Santos one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders.
The pandemic has forced people to discover new ways of maintaining connection with one another and to consider their own mortality — obituaries played a part in making this easier.
David Dalaithngu has died at 68. When he appeared in the 1971 film Walkabout, his name was misspelt in the credits. He won international acclaim as an actor, becoming a household name.
We should remember him as just another ordinary human being who did extraordinary things.
Obituaries tend to play down any negative aspects of character. Over time, they reveal what we value in life.
History will judge Nkurunziza as a man who brought unnecessary pain to a nation that had long suffered from political misrule.
Christo’s first major project was Wrapped Coast at Sydney’s Little Bay. His fabric sculptures would become a major symbol in land art.
Lord May was an illustrious scientist, a towering figure in the British establishment, and a quintessential Aussie. His theories help explain everything from complex ecosystems to financial markets.
Victor Abimbola Olaiya took up highlife music in the late 1950s and combined it with the trumpet to improve on its texture and aesthetic quality.
Mubarak held power for three decades, on the foundation of a personality cult.
The Monty Python star was also a highly respected author on Chaucer and the writer of a series of children’s history books.
Kofi Annan and John McCain’s positive eulogies could be because both men seized moments of human dignity and decency.
Kofi Annan’s tenure began after the reintroduction of two important international security lexicons – peacebuilding and human security.
An analysis of obituaries for Islamic State and Australian soldiers shows some alarming similarities, not the least of which is the idea that their deaths should be given meaning by further conflict.
Why are we so serious about not being too serious? The philosophy of humour has the answer.