Betty White was alive to witness the media report that Thomas Dewey had defeated Harry S. Truman, and to see her 100th Birthday celebrated (prematurely!) in a People magazine cover.
Even though she was dying, she celebrated her appearance on the cover. She declared, “My 100th Birthday… I can’t believe it is coming up!” The cover features the famous actress smiling and boasts “Betty White Turns 100!”
Betty White would have celebrated her 100th birthday on January 17. Some people believe that People prematurely celebrated her 100th birthday. Although I am not one of those who believe this cover story tempted fate it still makes me cringe.
People editor Dan Wakeford released a statement saying that “we are deeply saddened at the news about Betty White’s death.” “We are proud that she chose to work with People recently to celebrate her extraordinary career and life.”
People magazine jumped the gun. Variety points out that “the week between Christmas and New Years is historically a prime window to print magazine sales,” as they note that People magazine could have “paradoxically stimulated more readers to buy People’s White covers,” which are certain to become collectors’ items.