Which one is correct?

A. Authors like the late John Smith and John Doe have …

B. Authors like the late John Smith and the late John Doe have …


  • It does help to clarify, but if it's clear from the context not so much. B and A are correct. B is clearer.
    – Karlomanio
    Feb 6, 2019 at 21:43

2 Answers 2


They are both grammatically correct, the second the clearest.

You could use the plural form of Mr:

Authors like the late Messrs. John Smith and John Doe ...

Alternatively restructure the sentence:

Authors like John Smith and John Doe, both long departed, ...


In sentence A, it is not obvious whether the intent was for "the late" to be an implicitly repeated element or not; in fact I would tend to say that the default reading is that the second person mentioned is not "late".

So if you want it to be clear that both persons are in fact deceased, option B is the better choice.

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