The Mentors Radio

Where Remarkable CEOs Challenge Your Thinking about Life and Work

316. Interview with WSJ Obituary Writer James R. Hagerty on Inspiration and How to Tell YOUR Life Story

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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:

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