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Anti-conscription activist Ivan Toms dies in South Africa

The Associated Press reported Sunday anti-conscription activist Ivan Toms, a white South African doctor, died Tuesday in his Cape Town home. He was 55.

In getting the details about Toms’ life, the reporter talked with a secretary of the African National Congress and a director of health for Cape Town. It appears the reporter found background information on Toms’ life, but does not attribute it to anyone or anything.

The lead is a standard lead in that it cuts right to the point of who died, where he did, when it happened and how old he was. In the next line he tells how Toms died.

I believe the lead works because it helps tell the reader who the person is right from the start. I did not know who the person was until reading the obituary and I think a different kind of lead would have just confused me.

The obituary is different than a resume because it is more personal. A resume tells where a person has worked, their education level and what other groups they are a part of. An obituary gives a more personal level in the story by it connecting the reader through the person’s achievements in life.