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The Sunday Read: ‘The Lonely Death of George Bell’


Thousands die in New York every year. Some of them alone. The city might weep when the celebrated die, or the innocent are slain, but for those who pass in an unwatched struggle, there is no one to mourn for them and their names, simply added to a death table.

In 2014, George Bell, 72, was among those names. He died alone in his apartment in north central Queens.

On today’s Sunday Read, what happens when someone dies, and no one is there to arrange their funeral? And who exactly was George Bell?

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Additional production for The Sunday Read was contributed by Parin Behrooz, Carson Leigh Brown, Marion Lozano, Anna Diamond, Elena Hecht, Desiree Ibekwe, Emma Kehlbeck, Tanya Perez, Kelly Rogers, Margaret Willison and Kate Winslett. Special thanks to Mike Benoist, Sam Dolnick, Laura Kim, Julia Simon, Lisa Tobin, Blake Wilson and Ryan Wegner.

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