In this week’s episode, The Mentors Radio host Tom Loarie talks with James “Bob” Hagerty, the Wall Street Journal‘s only full-time obituary columnist, regarding how to tell your own life story. Over the past 40 years, Hagerty has worked as a reporter, editor and bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal. Today, he is the paper’s only full-time obituary writer. Each week, he writes three or four obituaries examining extraordinary lives he’s discovered—both the famous and the obscure. He finds it absolutely inspiring!
One of Hagerty’s articles — regarding “an obituary writer writes one for himself”— yielded such an outpouring of reader responses, that it inspired his most recent book, Yours Truly: An Obituary Writer’s Guide to Telling Your Story. In this episode Hagerty talks about what’s he has learned from writing obituaries and how to make sure your life story is not boiled down to just a few lines after you die. Leaving things to chance, your obituary is almost certain to be solemn, formulaic and full of errors… but you can have the last word!
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James “Bob” Hagerty:
- BIO & Some of Hagerty’s stunningly engaging Obits: https://www.wsj.com/news/author/james-r.-hagerty
- Yours Truly: An Obituary Writer’s Guide to Telling Your Story, by James R. Hagerty — In this surprisingly upbeat book about a usually downbeat subject, The Wall Street Journal’s veteran obituary writer, James R. Hagerty, shares his unique skills with those who want to have the last word by crafting their own stories in their own voices—with flourish, honesty, and even humor.
- The Fateful History of Fannie Mae: New Deal Birth to Mortgage Crisis Fall, by James R. Hagerty
- C-SPAN video – James “Bob” Hagerty talks about his excellent book: The Fateful History of Fannie Mae:https://www.c-span.org/video/?309009-1/the-fateful-history-fannie-mae
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