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Friday, April 22, 2011


Dr. Cory Franklin
Carolyn Milford Gilbert

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Hosts for this unusual site are two obituarists who are well known for their work in the obituary field. Each one comes to the subject with a different set of experiences but with a common passion for the art of the obituary.

Dr. Cory Franklin is a physician who applies the scalpel of curiosity and investigation to every obituary he reads. He has a world of what-- until now—might have been called useless information. However, with a mind like a library of little-known facts for the worlds of music, sports, entertainment, this information makes him a genius at putting together the sometimes disparate pieces of a life.  Franklin is a collector of obituaries as well as a walking sports encyclopedia with a love for music and cars.

Cory Franklin, M.D. was director of Medical Intensive Care at Cook County (Chicago, Illinois) Hospital for over 20 years. He writes freelance medical and nonmedical articles. Along with over 50 medical articles and abstracts in medical journals, he is an editorial board contributor to the Chicago Tribune op-ed page.

His work has also appeared in the New York Times, Jerusalem Post, Chicago Sun-Times, New York Post, and has been excerpted in the New York Review of Books. He was Harrison Ford’s technical advisor and one of the role models for the character Ford played in the movie, The Fugitive..

Carolyn Milford Gilbert is the founder of the International Association of Obituarists, a group of writers, readers, aficionados and just plain fans of the art of the obituary from around the globe. She served as host for a series of obituary writers international conferences over a period of ten years. She is a writer of obituaries, a columnist and opinion writer for the Dallas Morning News and the Times Record News among other publications.  Her article "The Obituary as Literary Artform"  is published in the Dictionary of Literary Biography. A former educator, Gilbert loves a well-turned phrase whether it is written or spoken. She is in demand as a speaker as well as a guest panelist on radio and television. She has hosted a regional radio program in Texas exploring the history of the area.

Her hobbies of collecting antiques, button concertinas and rare books add to her quest for the historical and genealogical aspect of obituaries. She likens her daily reading of the obit pages—on line as well as in real newspapers-- to the search for the Golden Egg. "Almost every obituary presents a question or a quandary if you read between the lines carefully enough."

Gilbert is proud to say that her favorite sport is basketball. And the team of choice is the Dallas Mavericks. Even though she is only 4’11”, basketball is her thing---but only as a spectator sport, of course.

We hope you enjoy this innovative approach to the obituary. You have the added benefit of hearing the obit story, listening to the news of the time, hearing the person’s own voice during his lifetime, and having that obit almost come to life. New podcasts are added weekly and the older casts moved to archives. Additional material will be posted as available to add to the experience. Sid Tepps is the producer of the podcast.

We hope you enjoy the podcasts on iTunes !

Carolyn Gilbert                  Cory Franklin