By: Ryan Fitzgerald
When older iconic public figures' names trend on social media, many users panic to make sure they are okay. When “Betty White” was trending on Twitter on Dec. 31, I, like many others, felt the need to check just to make sure she was okay. To my dismay, and fans alike, I was met with articles from various news outlets reporting White’s death.
Needless to say, White’s death was a somber way to end 2021. White died in her home at the age of 99, just 18 days shy of her 100th birthday. At the time of her death, the occasion was already being celebrated by People Magazine, who placed her on the cover of their most recent issue, and a feature-length documentary about her life that is set to hit theaters on what would have been her 100th birthday.
After she graduated high school, White joined the American Women's Voluntary Services during World War II. After the war, she started working in the entertainment industry. Her career spanned over seven decades and began with her work on various radio programs, which eventually led to opportunities in television. White is mostly known for her work on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls, and Hot in Cleveland, but she has acted in, written, produced, and directed many other televisions programs and films.
Public figures such as Ryan Reynolds, Conan O’Brien, Oprah Winfrey, Cher, Mel Brooks, and even President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama went to Twitter to pay tribute to White. NBC paid tribute to White by re-airing an episode of Saturday Night Live that she hosted in 2010. TV Land marathoned episodes of the Golden Girls for several days after her death, with many of the episodes following a short tribute to her. The aforementioned documentary, Betty White: A Celebration, is still set to hit theaters on Jan. 17.
Betty White’s legacy should be a good reminder to us all that despite the success we may have, we should remain modest throughout our lives and the path we take in the future - and what better way to be remembered than the way people remember Betty White: a kind-hearted individual who devoted her life to bringing joy to other people’s lives.