T. Herman Zweibel
Publisher Emeritus (photo circa 1911)

There is nothing I desire more than for dear, sweet Death to draw its soft shroud around me and usher me from this mortal coil. But after 132 years, my prayers have still not been answered, so every now and again I attempt to bring about my yearned-for demise myself.

The first attempt occurred back when I still had fore-arms and could propel myself in my wheel-chair. After my nurse had retired to bed, I managed to slip out of the mansion and push myself across the grounds to my private zoo. I unlocked the bear's cage, wheeled myself in, and closed the door behind me. But I had not visited the zoo in several years, and the cage was no longer occupied by a bear, but by a great horned owl. A nocturnal predator, the owl began to peck at me with his sharp beak and beat me with his wings. I wielded my cane, refusing to allow a lowly owl to assassinate T. Herman Zweibel. Fortunately, the racket awoke my Swiss Guard, who managed to rescue me in the nick of time. God-damn owl!

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Then, about a month ago, I was scanning my bed-chamber for some arsenic when I remembered that my despised but coldly efficient ro-bot nurse, Mr. Tin, had locked all the medicines in the adjoining dispensary. Improvising, I decided to throw myself out of bed in the hopes that my withered skull would meet the cold, hard concrete floor and shatter like an egg-shell. Unfortunately, I was too weak to do anything more than move my left foot a few meager inches, and I could only get my head to rest feebly upon my shoulder. There I lay until sun-rise, when Mr. Tin lumbered in and administered my morning enema, which was as icy as the Baltic Sea.

T. Herman Zweibel, the great grandson of Onion founder Friedrich Siegfried Zweibel, was born in 1868, became editor of The Onion at age 20, and persisted in various editorial posts until his launching into space in 2001. Zweibel's name became synonymous with American business success in the 20th century. Many consider him the “Father Of American Journalism,” also the title of his well-known 1943 biography, written by Norman Rombauer.