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The idea for "Who's Alive and Who's Dead" was in David Carson's mind for decades before it came about - or even before the invention of the internet, for that matter. As long as he can remember, the idea has been with him. For example, as a child, if he was watching television with his parents, and one of them would mention that a certain actor had died, he wanted to know about the other actors on the show. When he heard at school that former President Truman died, he wanted to know how many former presidents were still alive. And, as David asked other folks who was alive and who was dead, he noticed something - they didn't know, either. They would usually start out thinking that they knew, but after a while, realized that they weren't sure. There was a phone number you could call to find out the time and temperature; there was even a phone number you could call to find out other people's phone numbers. So, why wasn't there a phone number you could call to find out whether someone was alive or dead?
Eventually, the internet came along, and David realized that the ability to create a resource for looking up who's alive and who's dead was at his fingertips. His first effort - a simple list of only a few hundred names followed by the words "alive" or "dead" - appeared in 1997. The data base quickly grew and was filled out with more information, and reached a thousand entries in 1998. David also started the "Who's Alive and Who's Dead" mailing list that year. In 2000, he re-wrote the web site, giving it a format that is very similar to the one it has today. As of 1 January 2008, the site had 2,423 entries and received about a half-million page views per month, and the mailing list had just over 6,000 subscribers, making it the fifth-largest group in Yahoo's celebrities category.
David Carson is a professional computer networking consultant in the Houston, Texas area. He spends a few hours a week doing research and making updates to "Who's Alive and Who's Dead." Since the project's inception, David has remained focused on keeping the site true to it's mission - to help people find out who's alive and who's dead.
To contact the webmaster about making an addition or correction to the data base, please read the FAQ first. For other inquries, he can be reached at davidc (atsign) wa-wd.com.