NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Turns out that Elizabeth Taylor outlived the man who wrote her obituary in the New York Times.

The legendary actress, AIDS activist and philanthropist died of congestive heart failure Wednesday at the age of 79 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

PHOTO GALLERIES: Liz Taylor Through the Years | Notable Deaths 2011

New York Times theater critic and cultural reporter Mel Gussow, the man who wrote Taylor’s detailed obit that appeared on the paper’s website, died in 2005 at the age of 71.

Though it is a common occurrence in the journalism industry to have an obituary written in advance of a celebrity’s death, it highlights a media practice that may not be known to the general public.

The Times does clearly note  Gussow, “the principal writer” of the article, passed away over 5 years ago.

William McDonald, who is the obituaries editor for the paper, told the Wall Street Journal that the 4,000 word obit written by Gussow was simply “too good to throw away.”

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