Norman Mailer’s Self-Penned Obituary


At the author’s bedside,” reads Mailer’s self-penned obituary, “were eleven of his fifteen ex-wives, twenty-two
of his twenty-four children, and five of his seven grandchildren, of whom four are older than six of their uncles
and aunts.” Photo: Getty Images

Back in 1979, at the height of his curly-haired glory, Norman Mailer composed a witty and sharp obituary for himself for Boston magazine, which has reprinted it on their Website on the occasion of his death this past weekend. “Norman Mailer passed away yesterday after celebrating his fifteenth divorce and sixteenth wedding,” it begins:

He was renowned in publishing circles for his blend of fictional journalism and factual fiction, termed by literary critic William Buckley: Contemporaneous Ratiocinative Aesthetical Prolegomena. Buckley was consequentially sued by Mailer for malicious construction of invidious acronyms. “Norman does take himself seriously,” was Mr. Buckley’s reply. “Of course he is the last of those who do.”

In it, he offers up fake eulogies from some of his friends, which in retrospect are surprisingly poignant. “He was always so butch,” “Truman Capote” says. “I thought he’d outlive us all.”

Mailer’s Death: We Called It [Boston]
Earlier Intel’s prodigious coverage of the death of Norman Mailer

Norman Mailer’s Self-Penned Obituary