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Robert McG. Thomas Jr.

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Robert McGill Thomas Jr. (May 9, 1939 – January 7, 2000) was an American journalist who worked for many years at The New York Times, and who was notable for the obituaries he wrote for that newspaper.[1][2]

Robert McG. Thomas
Born Robert McGill Thomas Jr.
(1939-05-09)May 9, 1939
Shelbyville, Tennessee U.S.
Died January 7, 2000(2000-01-07) (aged 60)
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware U.S.
Occupation Reporter

Contents

BiographyEdit

Thomas was born in Shelbyville, Tennessee on May 9, 1939.

He wrote under the name Robert McG. Thomas; more than thirty of his obituaries were included in the 1997 anthology, The Last Word.[3] Since his death, a larger collection of Thomas' obituaries was published as 52 McGs.: The Best Obituaries from Legendary New York Times Reporter Robert McG. Thomas.[4] The author of a starred Kirkus Reviews wrote, "For the last half of the 1990s, readers of the New York Times could be excused if they searched out Thomas's work before they bothered with the front-page lead. Known as "McGs."—after the veteran reporter's middle name—these little beauties celebrated the unsung, the queer, the unpretentious, the low-rent."[5]

DeathEdit

Thomas died on January 7, 2000, at his summer home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, from abdominal cancer.[1]

LegacyEdit

Michael T. Kaufman, who undertook the daunting task of writing the obituary in The New York Times for the Times' celebrated obituary writer, described Thomas as the person "who extended the possibilities of the conventional obituary form, shaking the dust from one of the most neglected areas of daily journalism".[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Kaufman, Michael T. (January 8, 2000). "Robert McG. Thomas, 60, Chronicler of Unsung Lives". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2011-11-15. Robert McG. Thomas Jr., a reporter for The New York Times who extended the possibilities of the conventional obituary form ... died on Thursday at his family's summer home in Rehoboth Beach, Del. He was 60 and also had a home in Manhattan. The cause was abdominal cancer, said his wife, Joan. 
  2. ^ Thomas' date of birth is taken from the Social Security Death Index.
  3. ^ Siegel, Marvin (1997). The Last Word: The New York Times Book of Obituaries and Farewells. William Morrow and Co. ISBN 978-0-688-15015-0. 
  4. ^ Thomas, Robert McG.; Calhoun, Chris (2001). 52 McGs.: The Best Obituaries from Legendary New York Times Reporter Robert McG. Thomas. Scribner. ISBN 978-0-7432-1562-6. 
  5. ^ "52 MCGS". Kirkus Reviews. August 15, 2001.