Professional boxer Joe Frazier became one of the greatest of all time with his matches against Muhammad Ali, including the Thrilla in Manila in 1975. After retiring the following year, the Philadelphia native got involved in music with Joe Frazier and the Knockouts, release a biography titled Smokin’ Joe: The Autobiography of a Heavyweight Champion of the World, Smokin’ Joe Frazier, and appeared in various Fight Night video games.
On November 7, 2011, Frazier passed away from complications of liver cancer. Four years later, the city of Philadelphia unveiled a statue of the athlete in front of Xfinity Live. Unfortunately, reporters from FOX 29 in Philadelphia forgot all about his death with a major blunder.
On Wednesday, the reporters mentioned that the boxer was celebrating his 73rd birthday and he was heading down to City Hall later that day. The saddest part about this report is that Frazier’s birthday isn’t even on January 11; it’s on January 12.
Good Day Philadelphia did run a corrected report later on that day, but those reporters will have to live with this mistake for the rest of their careers. At least, they can laugh about it.
This isn’t the first time that reporters have mistakenly announced that someone is either still alive or has been pronounced dead. On September 13, 2016, WABC anchor Joe Torres mistakenly announced that Hillary Clinton died at the top of the news hour. Instead of beginning with, “We begin with Hillary Clinton’s health,” he goofed and said, “We begin with Hillary Clinton’s death.”
This led to various phone calls and tweets to discover if the news was actually true.
On March 4, 1994, CNN inaccurately reported that Nirvana front-man Kurt Cobain died while visiting Rome. The singer actually fell into a coma from a heroin overdose. A month later, the singer committed suicide in his home in Seattle, Washington.
Featured image via Wikimedia, available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Netherlands license.