Use of ‘The Late’

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

Ms. 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
—-—-or
—-John Smith (1910-2002), founder

– Robert Hickey

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"

When Should You Use the Forms on this Page?

You can use these forms of address for any mode of communication: addressing a letter, invitation, card or Email. (If there are differences between the official and social forms of address, I will have mentioned the different forms.)  The form noted in the salutation is the same form you say when you say their name in conversation or when you greet them.

Not Finding Your Answer?

—-#1)  At right on desktops, at the bottom of every page on tablets and phones, is a list of all the offices, officials & topics covered on the site.

—-#2)  If you don’t see the official you seek included or your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day or so (unless I am traveling.)  Note: I don’t have mailing or Email addresses for any of the officials and I don’t keep track of offices that exist only in history books.

—-#3)  If I think your question is of interest to others, Sometimes I post the question  – but always change all the specifics.

— Robert Hickey 

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"