Inventor Eulogy Project


According to the dictionary on your computer, a eulogy is: eulogy |ˈyoōləjē|noun ( pl. -gies) a speech or piece of writing that praises someone or something highly, typically someone who has just died : his good friend delivered a brief eulogy.


  • Students will choose, research, and learn about an Industrial Revolution inventor;
  • Students will encounter examples of eulogies from various media (literature, history, film, etc.) and write their own for their chosen inventor;
  • Students will discover and contemplate the personal qualities and circumstances that allowed these inventors to succeed;
  • Students will hone writing and presentation skills;


Each student will imagine he/she is a nearest and dearest friend of a departed inventor. Eulogies should include examples of the inventors’ accomplishments (research, inventions, breakthroughs, impact on the world, etc.) as well as commentary of the personal nature (“Thomas Edison was always inquisitive, and this caused our chemistry professor great distress. Why, I recall a time in university, when Tommy and I…”).

Your inventor must be born prior to 1940.  That means no Bill Gates or Steve Jobs.

List your name and the name of your inventor here.


  • Plain old vanilla speech
  • Song (Sung to the tune of)
  • Presentation
  • Other?

Thomas Edison Song – from Phoenix Video


Eulogy examples

A Sister’s Eulogy for Steve Jobs –

Elton John Candle in the Wind – from Phoenix Video

A Satirical Eulogy by Jonathon Swift

A Satirical Elegy

His Grace! Impossible! What, dead!

Of old age too, and in his bed!

And could that mighty warrior fall,

And so inglorious, after all?

Well, since he’s gone, no matter how,

The last loud trump must wake him now;

And, trust me, as the noise grows stronger,

He’d wish to sleep a little longer.

And could he be indeed so old

As by the newspapers we’re told?

Threescore, I think, is pretty high;

‘Twas time in conscience he should die!

This world he cumber’d long enough;

He burnt his candle to the snuff;

And that’s the reason, some folks think,

He left behind so great a stink.

Behold his funeral appears,

Nor widows’ sighs, nor orphans’ tears,

Wont at such times each heart to pierce,

Attend the progress of his hearse.

But what of that? His friends may say,

He had those honours in his day.

True to his profit and his pride,

He made them weep before he died.

Come hither, all ye empty things!

Ye bubbles rais’d by breath of kings!

Who float upon the tide of state;

Come hither, and behold your fate!

Let pride be taught by this rebuke,

How very mean a thing’s a duke;

From all his ill-got honours flung,

Turn’d to that dirt from whence he sprung

Bill Clinton’s Eulogy for Richard Nixon

President Nixon opened his memoirs with a simple sentence: “I was born in a house my father built.” Today we can look back at this little house and still imagine a young boy sitting by the window of the attic he shared with his three brothers, looking out to a world he could then himself only imagine. From those humble roots, as from so many humble beginnings in this country, grew the force of a driving dream. A dream that led to the remarkable journey that ends here today, where it all began beside the same tiny home, mail-ordered from back East, near this towering pepper tree, which back then was a mere seedling.

President Nixon’s journey across the American landscapes mirrored that of his entire nation in this remarkable century. His life was bound up with the striving of our whole people, with our crises and our triumphs.

When he became President, he took on challenges here at home on matters from cancer research to environmental protection, putting the power of the Federal Government where Republicans and Democrats had neglected to put it in the past, and in foreign policy. He came to the Presidency at a time in our history when Americans were tempted to say we had had enough of the world. Instead, he knew we had to reach out to old friends and old enemies alike. He would not allow America to quit the world.

Remarkably, he wrote nine of his ten books after he left the Presidency, working his way back into the arena he so loved by writing and thinking and engaging us in his dialogue. For the past year, even in the final weeks of his life, he gave me his wise counsel, especially with regard to Russia. One thing in particular left a profound impression on me. Though this man was in his ninth decade, he had an incredibly sharp and vigorous and rigorous mind. As a public man, he always seemed to believe the greatest sin was remaining passive in the face of challenges, and he never stopped living by that creed. He gave of himself with intelligence and energy and devotion to duty, and his entire country owes him a debt of gratitude for that service.

Oh, yes, he knew great controversy amid defeat as well as victory. He made mistakes, and they, like his accomplishments, are a part of his life and record. But the enduring lesson of Richard Nixon is that he never gave up being part of the action and passion of his times. He said many times that unless a person has a goal, a new mountain to climb, his spirit will die. Well, based on our last phone conversation and the letter he wrote me just a month ago, I can say that his spirit was very much alive to the very end.

That is a great tribute to him, to his wonderful wife, Pat, to his children and to his grandchildren, whose love he so depended on and whose love he returned in full measure. Today is a day for his family, his friends, and his nation to remember President Nixon’s life in totality. To them, let us say: may the day of judging President Nixon on anything less than his entire life and career come to a close.

May we heed his call to maintain the will and the wisdom to build on America’s greatest gift, its freedom, and to lead a world full of difficulty to the just and lasting peace he dreamed of.

As it is written in the words of a hymn I heard in my church last Sunday, “Grant that I may realize that the trifling of life creates differences, but that in the higher things we are all one.” In the twilight of his life, President Nixon knew that lesson well. It is, I feel, certainly a fate he would want us all to keep.

And so, on behalf of all four former Presidents who are here – President Ford, President Carter, President Reagan, President Bush – and on behalf of a grateful nation, we bid farewell to Richard Milhous Nixon.

Garvin-Eulogy – from Phoenix Video

Kanika Eulogy – from Phoenix Video

Chandra Eulogy – from Phoenix Video

Lily Eulogy – from Phoenix Video

Gnyanesh eulogy – from Phoenix Video

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