When to Use ‘The Late’?
In writing the history of our organization should we present the deceased founder’s name as: The late John Smith
—-—-—-–- Darla Snyder
Use ‘the late’ before a name of someone who is deceased – often recently – when one wants to be respectful. For example, on a wedding program:
—-John Smith, the bride’s uncle, will give away the bride in place of her father the late Thomas Smith.
—-The groom is the son of Mrs. James K. Gifford and the late Stephen R. Gifford
Some style guides say a person can only be ‘the late’ if they have been dead less than a decade. So, in a timeless document ‘the late’ is not the right option. List the name of your founder as – (Full Name) – and note the span of years and other information after his name.
—-John Smith, founder
—-John Smith (1910-2002), founder
– Robert Hickey