Find Obituaries in Chicago Newspapers

paid obituary is a death notice in the newspaper paid for by family or friends. A news obituary is an article written by the newspaper staff about the death of a celebrity or newsworthy person.

The Chicago Tribune (1985 to present) does not include every paid obituary published in the print edition of the Chicago Tribune. Paid obituaries in the 1990s are particularly incomplete. To search for paid obituaries in the Chicago Tribune (1985 to present), click the “Advanced” search link, type the name of the person in the search box and then select “Document title” in the dropdown list to the right of the search box. You may find some paid obituaries among the articles and news obituaries.

The Chicago Tribune Historical Archive includes paid obituaries (or death notices) from 1849 through 1990.

The Chicago Sun-Times/SouthtownStar online resource does not include paid obituaries that appeared in the print editions.

Fortunately, the microfilm of the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times includes paid obituaries for the entire run of each newspaper. So if you cannot find an obituary online, check the microfilm. You will need the date of death to search the microfilm. For the 1990s, there are usually 14 days of newspaper issues on each microfilm reel, so having the death date will narrow your search. The newspaper microfilm is on the 3rd floor of the Harold Washington Library Center.