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George Steinbrenner's obituary was really long

Jul 15, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT

AOL’s Tom Krasovic on Steinbrenner’s lengthy obituary:

As America’s addiction to sports only grows, baseball is among the
industries getting staggering amounts of publicity. For instance, when Yankees owner George Steinbrenner died on Tuesday,
naturally The Associated Press ran a biography about the man who had
turned the Death Star into a seven-time World Series champion and a
revenue giant. How many words did the obit run? About 3,000. I’m told
the Steinbrenner bio was longer than any AP bio in two decades or more,
even longer than bios of world leaders such as U.S. presidents and
popes.

I was dubious of this at first, but a few minutes of Googling at least begins to bear this out. The longest Ronald Regan obit I could find in a mainstream publication was around 2,500 words. Same with Pope John Paul II. I suppose there could have been longer ones depending on the news outlet — and of course, once you bundle in multiple sidebar stories the presidents and popes get more total coverage — but that’s pretty impressive for Big Stein all the same.

My first impression of it though: while Steinbrenner wasn’t as important as Popes or presidents, he was probably more interesting than any of them, so the verbiage is justified.  I mean, how long does it take to describe the exploits of a world leader? It’s pretty straightforward, major key stuff.  Steinbrenner was a complicated dude, though. He took some explaining.

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