Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is this site about?
Q. So it's about dead celebrities?
Q. Why do you do this?
Q. Isn't this web site morbid?
Q. How do you decide who gets listed?
Q. Your criteria appear to be subjective and arbitrary.
Q. Are you saying that the people listed as 'alive' are expected to die soon?
Q. How do I submit a correction?
Q. Wasn't Al Lewis really born in 1910?
Q. How do I submit an addition?
Q. I know of someone who died recently and isn't listed here. Did you forget?
Q. I e-mailed you asking to add my favorite celebrity, and you didn't. Why not?
Q. I was looking for a certain name and couldn't find it. Could you help me?
Q. It would be nice to have pictures of all of these people. How about it?
Q. Can I link to this site?
Q. Will you link to my site?
Q. What technology is this site built on?
Q. How do I contact the webmaster?

Q. What is this site about?
A. Who's Alive and Who's Dead is about helping you find out whether a notable person is alive or dead.

Q. So it's about dead celebrities?
A. Not really. In fact, nearly 2/3 of the people listed on the site are alive. If you already know that a certain celebrity is dead, and you came here just to see whether he is listed, don't be surprised if he isn't. Or, if you're looking for biographical information on dead celebrites, we aren't that kind of site either. We are here for one reason - to help you find out whether someone is alive or dead - someone you may not be sure about. While we do have a small amount of biographical data on most of the people here, that's mostly just to jog your memory. If you want to get more detailed information on dead celebrities, please use the sites on our links page.

Q. Why do you do this?
A. Whenever I watch an old movie and see an actor I haven't thought about in years, or I read an old magazine article, or hear a song, etc., I will quite often ask myself, "is that person still alive?" I think there ought to be a place to go to find out whether someone is alive or dead. Don't you agree?

Q. Isn't this web site morbid?
A. I don't think it is morbid at all to want to find out whether someone is alive or dead. Whether a web site like this is morbid depends on how the information is presented, and I don't think we have a morbid presentation. We don't use any graphics depicting bones or blood. We don't treat death as something spooky. We also don't take it lightly, with unfunny expressions like "pushing up daisies," for example. We just tell you whether someone is alive or dead, and a little bit about what they did.

Q. How do you decide who gets listed?
In general, I try to list people who are recognized by a large part of the general U.S. public and who there may be some confusion over whether they are alive or dead. For example, actors who haven't made a film in several years, or singers who haven't had a hit in a long time, or retired athletes or politicians.

I also list people who are members of a specific group, when there may be an interest in which members of the group are alive or dead. For example, the cast of "Gilligan's Island", or the members of The Beatles, or the seven Mercury astronauts, or former US presidents.

Sometimes, it is easier to explain who is not listed. Here are some examples of people I generally do not list (although there are a few exceptions):

  • Iconic dead celebrities, and others who have been dead for decades, e.g. Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, John Wayne, etc. (Come on ... everyone knows these people are dead.)
  • People about whom the first thing most people remember is when and how they died, e.g. Princess Diana, Selena, Aaliyah, etc.
  • People who are notable only for being old.
  • People who are notable only for who they're related to. (So-and-so's wife, quite a few Kennedys, etc.)
  • So-called "royalty" and royal families. (Yawn.)
  • People who may have done something notable but nevertheless aren't at all well known, e.g. the world champion hot dog eater, the world's loudest yodeler, etc. (Contact the Guinness book, not us.)

Q. Your criteria appear to be subjective and arbitrary.
A. Subjective, yes. Arbitrary, no.

Q. Are you saying that the people listed as 'alive' are expected to die soon?
A. No, I'm saying that many people may not be aware that those people are alive.

Q. How do I submit a correction?
A. If you find someone who's listed on "Who's Alive and Who's Dead" as "alive" when you think they're dead, or vice versa, please do not send us a correction, as we are most assuredly not the ones in error. I know ... you could swear they died years ago, and you vividly recall reading their obituary. Nevertheless, you're mistaken. Everyone listed here as "alive" is alive. Everyone listed as "dead" is dead. If you found a web site that shows differently, please send your corrections to them, not to us.

If you find an error relating to a date of birth, date of death, cause of death, spelling of a name, etc., and you can document your correction, please send me an e-mail. My e-mail address is at the bottom of this page. Be sure to include the source of your information. If you're correcting a DOB and your source is either Wikipedia or IMDB, please check around a little more first. Wikipedia is, without question, the least reliable site on the internet for DOB's, and IMDB is only a little better.

Q. Wasn't Al Lewis really born in 1910?
A. No, he was born on 30 April 1923. This has been documented on his birth certificate and college application. Although he claimed to have been born in 1910, his mother was born in 1897, and she did not arrive in the United States until 1913. His parents were married in 1922. This was all documented on an episode of "A&E Biography" in 2000. In addition, after his death, Lewis's son, Ted, confirmed that his father was 82, not 95, when he died. The government also has the correct 1923 date of birth in its Social Security Death Index. I know, Lewis claimed to have been in the circus in the 1920s and in the merchant marine in the 1930s, but he wasn't really. He lied about his age to get the part of Grandpa, and he lied about it ever after.

Q. How do I submit an addition?
A. If there is someone you would like to see added to Who's Alive and Who's Dead, first please read the FAQs that explain what this site is about, like this one, this one, and, most of all this one. Those sections should give you a pretty good idea of the kind of people I'm intersted in adding. Then just send me an e-mail, using the address provided at the bottom of this page. If you insist on not trying to understand this site's purpose or my criteria, then at least understand this: I am not going to add John Wayne, Elvis Presley, or Marilyn Monroe, ever. It's no use asking.

Q. I know of someone who died recently and isn't listed here. Did you forget?
A. No, there are dozens - even hundreds - of celebrities who die every year and don't get listed here. I only list the ones who I think a lot of people may be wondering whether the person is alive or dead. But, if you want to keep up with current obituaries, you might be interested in our mailing list, where you will receive at least one update a week on many recent deaths that are not listed on this site.

Q. I e-mailed you asking to add my favorite celebrity, and you didn't. Why not?
A. They didn't meet my criteria. Please don't be offended. I'm sure your favorite celebrity is/was a standout in his/her field, and is a wonderful person to boot, but this site isn't here to honor people for their contributions. I just don't happen to think a lot of folks are wondering whether the person you suggested is alive or dead.

Q. I was looking for a certain name and couldn't find it. Could you help me?
A. Sure, I help with requests like that all the time. Send me an e-mail with the person's name and be sure to tell me what they're known for. You might first try the sites on my links page. Most of them are very easy to use.

Q. It would be nice to have pictures of all of these people. How about it?
A. There are no photos on Who's Alive and Who's Dead, but we have launched another site, Dead or Alive Data Base, which does have some photos. This is a relatively new site and doesn't have many photos right now, but more are being added every week. To make it easy for you, each person's entry on Who's Alive and Who's Dead that has a photo on DOADB includes a link to their photo entry.

Q. Can I link to this site?
A. Sure, that would be great! Just set your href target to http://www.whosaliveandwhosdead.com. You don't need my permission, and you don't need to notify me.

Q. Will you link to my site?
A. All of the sites on my links page are useful for finding out alive/dead and for researching names, dates, and other biographical details. These are the only kinds of sites I will consider providing links to on my links page. I will link to your site if I find it to be a valuable or useful research tool. It doesn't matter whether you link to this site, and I won't place a site on my links page in exchange for money. I will, however, be glad to accept your advertisement, if it meets my ad policy.

Q. What technology is this site built on?
A. When Who's Alive and Who's Dead started out in 1997, it was a simple HTML list of names. The next year, I converted the data into a data base and used a scripting language called TCL to retrieve and display it. In 2005, I migrated the web site to an all-Microsoft platform, using IIS, Active Server Pages, and ADO. Almost all of the output of this web site is dynamically generated. What development platform do I use? Notepad, baby.

Q. How do I contact the webmaster?
A. My name is David Carson. My e-mail address is davidc (at sign) wa-wd.com. Please do me the courtesy of including your full name on all correspondence, as I disregard all anonymous e-mail. If you are writing to submit a correction or addition, please read those sections of this FAQ first.

Copyright © 1997-2014 by David Carson. Who's Alive and Who's Dead is brought to you by Living Water Specialties.