Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. In 1897, readers of the New York Journal were reassured to read the words of a beloved figure: "The report of my death was an exaggeration." The man in question had been traveling in London, making him a Connecticut Yankee near Queen Victoria's court. What was the pen name of this celebrated writer and humorist?
2. In moments of surprise and confusion, mistaken death announcements flourish. In 1981, Jim Brady was shot in the head, and several U.S. news outlets informed the public of his demise. Brady wasn't dead yet, though; in fact, he made a partial recovery and lived for 33 more years. What famous figure was the primary target when Brady was shot?
3. When a film is titled "Cannibal Holocaust," it's not surprising that it includes quite a lot of graphic violence. What's more surprising is the legal trouble in which the director found himself. With what was he charged in the Italian courts?
4. In 1816, a well-known Romantic poet was startled to hear his name mentioned in a hotel lobby by another guest. Still more startling: the man was reading aloud from a newspaper report of the investigation into the poet's own death. What author of "Kubla Khan" and "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" was ready with the perfect reply?
5. Although he had memorable roles in "The Godfather" and "Barney Miller," at a certain point this actor was more famous for his premature obituary than for his dramatic achievements. From the 1982 "People" article that started it all, until his actual death in 2016, who kept the entertainment world talking about whether he was dead or not?
6. Sometimes, jumping the gun has severe consequences, as the Roman poet Caius Lutorius Priscus found out. In 21 AD, he composed and performed a eulogy for Drusus Julius Caesar, but the subject wasn't dead yet. Why was Priscus executed for this mistake?
7. In our next incident, journalists should have double-checked "For Whom the Bell Tolls" before publishing obituaries. To be fair, they had a pretty good reason to believe the author of "The Old Man and the Sea" dead. What renowned writer survived two plane crashes in two days in 1954?
8. The New York Evening Sun once published an obituary two weeks early, by special request of the subject. What famous showman, who may or may not have said, "There's a sucker born every minute," was desperately curious about what the newspapers would say about him?
9. In the late 1960s, a conspiracy theory was born around the idea that a famous figure had tragically died young. The loss was concealed, the story went, by various measures including a body double - but still, there were supposed to be numerous subtle clues for the conspiracists to untangle. When people argued "Paul is dead," who were they talking about?
10. At least one premature obituary reportedly changed the course of history. The inventor of dynamite is supposed to have read his own obituary in a French newspaper that had confused him with his brother. Horrified to realize that he would be remembered as a "merchant of death," he re-evaluated his priorities and rewrote his will to endow several prizes to reward the betterment of humanity. Who was this man, who died in 1896?
Source: Author CellarDoor
This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor gtho4
before going online.
Any errors found in FunTrivia content are routinely corrected through our feedback system.