Famous Eulogies

Studying famous eulogies can teach us a great deal about what goes into telling the story of someone’s life. They also illustrate that grief does not spare anyone. Regardless of whether you are a world leader, a sports legend, or an everyday hero, we all leave behind loved ones who grieve for us when we are gone. It is up to our loved ones to tell our story. Reading what others have said about luminaries can inspire us in how we think about the process of writing a eulogy and what type of information to share about the deceased.

From the touching words of an ex-spouse, such those Cher shared about Sonny Bono, to the wry humor famously used by John Cleese about his former comedy partner Graham Chapman, famous eulogies give us a window into the world of the deceased and the heartbreak of their loved ones.

While we may never hope to craft words as elegantly as Maya Angelou or as colorful as Craig Ferguson, we can write a eulogy that honors the deceased and expresses your heartfelt emotions. You need not worry that the person you are eulogizing did not change the world as someone such as Rosa Parks did. Your loved one was important to those in his or her world and that is all that is important. We all make an impact on those around us and every life is worth remembering.

Famous Eulogies: U.S. Leaders

President John F. Kennedy’s Funeral Eulogy by Senator Jacob Javits at a Senate Memorial Service
President Ronald Reagan’s Eulogy presented by President Bush
President Ronald Reagan’s Eulogy presented by Margaret Thatcher
President Gerald R. Ford’s Eulogy presented by Tom Brokaw
Edward (Ted) Kennedy’s Eulogy presented by President Obama
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s Funeral Eulogy by Robert F. Kennedy
Rosa Parks’ Eulogy presented by Oprah Winfrey
Memorial Speech for the Columbia Astronauts by President George W. Bush
Coretta Scott King’s Eulogy presented by Maya Angelou
President Richard Nixon’s Eulogy presented by president Bill Clinton
Robert F. Kennedy’s Eulogy presented by Sen Edward M. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette’s Eulogy presented by Sen Edward Kennedy
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s Eulogy presented by Ted Kennedy

Famous Eulogies: Journalists

Tim Russert Eulogy presented by his son, Luke Russert

Famous Eulogies: Religious Leaders

Father Mychal Judge’s Eulogy presented by Father Micahel Duffy

Famous Eulogies: Business Leaders

Steve Jobs, Apple Computer Eulogy presented by his sister, Mona Simpson

Famous Eulogies: World Leaders

Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi’s Funeral Eulogy by Jawaharlal Nehru
Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales’ Eulogy presented by her brother Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer
Sir Edmund Hillary’s Eulogy presented by Helen Clark, New Zealand Prime Minister
Queen Elizabeth’s Eulogy by The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. George Carey

Famous Eulogies: Entertainment and Sports Leaders

Sonny Bono’s Eulogy presented by Cher
Graham Chapman’s Eulogy presented by John Cleese
Jim Henson’s Eulogy presented by Frank Oz
Robert Ferguson’s Eulogy presented by Craig Ferguson
George Harrison’s Eulogy presented by Eric Idle
Steve Irwin’s Eulogy presented by Russell Crowe
Steve Irwin’s Eulogy presented by his daughter, Bindi Irwin
Stanley Kubrick’s Funeral Eulogy by Edward Champion
Mickey Mantle’s Eulogy presented by Bob Costas
Marilyn Monroe’s Eulogy presented by Lee Strasberg
Mattie Stepanek’s Eulogy presented by President Jimmy Carter

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