Famous Last Words

Readers of The New York Times were surprised to see that last week's front-page obituary on Bob Hope was written by Vincent Canby, a longtime Times reporter who died in 2000. In fact, most newspapers write and continually update obits of famous local citizens years before they die, so they have most of the biographical information on hand when the sad moment arrives. To show you what we mean, the Full Frontal staff hacked into The Dallas Morning News' computer system and retrieved the first few paragraphs of several obits already in the works. As you may be able to tell, these have not yet been edited by Morning News higher-ups. When you see them in the paper, then, they may take a more refined, sober form.

Laura Miller

Laura Miller, a former city columnist at a Dallas-area weekly news concern who became mayor despite this paper's every effort to stop her, has died.

Miller began her local journalism career at a former competing daily newspaper that shut down in 1991 and was most certainly not purchased and closed by this paper, at least not that anyone can prove. Miller went on to write columns for a monthly magazine that takes as its name the first letter of our fair city. She found her greatest local fame, however, as a hard-hitting columnist for the aforementioned weekly Dallas newspaper that we won't mention here. She later became mayor.

Miller, a devoted family person with a great nanny, always fought for the disenfranchised, the poor and the poorly dressed--ironic given her patrician air and her good fashion sense. Miller's husband, Mr. Laura Miller, said through family spokesman Rob Allyn that he will miss her.

Jerry Jones

Jerry Jones, brilliant architect of the Dallas Cowboys' last three Super Bowl champion teams, has died.

Jones, who had grown pudgy and turtlelike in appearance since winning those championships, is most known to the casual fan for firing Tom Landry and Jimmy Johnson, and for hiring former Oklahoma Sooners coach Barry Switzer. But with his latest Lombardi Trophy, Jones showed that he masterminded a plan that has made the Cowboys a fearsome powerhouse for decades to come.

[Editor's note: Blackistone, can you please update this file? I'd have Cowlishaw do it, but he's primping for that ESPN show of his. ]

Terrell Bolton

Police Chief Terrell Bolton, who boldly held citizens liable for crimes committed against them, has died. Pending an autopsy, whites were blamed for his passing.

Al Lipscomb

Former Dallas City Councilman Al Lipscomb, a civil-rights activist who came to be known for his oratory flair as well as his awesome African-style headgear, has died.

Lipscomb's oft-told tale--as a young man, he was arrested for selling drugs, but later he became one of the most respected black leaders in Dallas history--was inspirational to many who believe in the glory of racial unity.

Lipscomb was born in the uppity cracker enclave known as East Dallas. One of his heroes was Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, who is also quite dead. Such symmetry seemed to mark Lipscomb throughout his life.

He was also known as a forgetful man in his later years. The most charming example of this was when he forgot to report thousands of dollars in donations to him when he was a city council member--an oversight that, let's face it, could happen to anyone.

In 1971, he became the first black mayoral candidate in Dallas, which infuriated many members of Dallas' rich honky ruling elite, so much so that...

Ross Perot

Batshit billionaire space alien Ross Perot, a former presidential candidate at whom the nation laughed, has died.

Born in 1930 in Texarkana, Perot was a child of the Depression. He believed in hard work and was violently opposed to the idea that short people got no reason. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1953, placing 454th in a class of 925. "Now isn't that just sad?" he remarked at the time.

Perot worked for IBM in 1957, and by 1962 he'd had enough of those jackass liberal freaks with whom he worked, so he borrowed $1,000 from his wife's savings account--presumably with her knowledge--and founded Electronic Data Systems Corp. in Dallas, now called Plano. The company's motto ("Eagles don't flock; you find them one at a time"), combined with the strict dress code (close-cropped hair, dark suit and tie), made employees feel quite queer, in every sense of the term. In 1968, Forbes called Perot the "fastest, richest Texan," which to this day makes no sense.

In 1984, Perot sold EDS. In 1992, he decided to run for president. He contacted his home planet and had them send a vice presidential candidate, who later...

Tom Hicks

Thomas O. Hicks, the multimillionaire investment genius and high-profile owner of the Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars, died today. He was plenty rich with no fiduciary concerns.

Hicks, who during his final years fought off rumors that his financial empire was faltering, was a larger-than-life figure on the local sports scene. He paid shortstop Alex Rodriguez $252 million to sign with the Rangers, but denied that he repeatedly asked the all-star shortstop to "loan me a couple million bucks, just until payday."

Many were saddened by Hicks' passing, none more so than his many creditors, dozens of whom gathered to weep and file liens against his estate.


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