As human beings, we are slightly fascinated with the life and death of the rich and famous. There is just something about the people who have led far more extraordinary lives then those of us who have never left the small town we were born in. Is this some kind of measure of life? Probably not. In any case, take a look at this list of some of the most famous people who have left a huge mark on this world, and their final words.
There is a fascination, okay maybe that’s too strong of a word, with death. We are often asked, “Would you rather want to know when you’re going to die or how you’re going to die?” Most people would cop out and say neither! Why would you even want to focus on such a morbid subject? However if you knew when your time was going to be up, how would you live your life? Surely you’d do all the wonderful things that you never could have imagined possible before. Many individuals who are terminally ill will finally book that trip to Paris they always spoke about but never pursued. Some will go sky diving or bungee jumping or swimming with sharks, anything that gets their heart racing, anything that is so out of the ordinary. We often get too wrapped up in our lives – bills, work, exercise, preparing food, anything that is the standard routine of our everyday lives. We get too boggled down with this and that. That boxes us in, limits us and often makes us too frightened to even consider the possibility that there is more to life than just the ordinary. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes a boring, ordinary life is just what the doctor ordered, but sometimes it isn’t. We get one life, how are you going to live it?
The people who are included on this list left a lasting impression when their time was up. While some left us too soon, others lived a long and beautiful life. Their achievements in film, music, science, psychiatry, and so on are so profound that when news broke of their passing, each one of us felt it. And we felt it strongly. Click through for the last words these celebrities ever uttered.
Known as “The People’s Princess”, Princess Diana was full of compassion and charisma, her style and high-profile charity work have long influenced generations. She was a true shining example of an unstoppable woman with her heart on her sleeve. After her death in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997, people all over the globe deeply mourned the beloved Princess.
While there are many who spew conspiracy beliefs that her accident was planned, nothing has ever been proven. The day of the crash, a firefighter who was on the scene, reported that Princess Diana’s last words were, “Oh my god.”
Perhaps one of the most haunting last words on this list. John Lennon, if you didn’t know is a Beatles legend who had undeniable talent as a singer and songwriter. He transformed the music world as we know it.
His final words were, “Yes I am,” in response to being asked by his assassin/murderer to confirm his identity. Chilling, isn’t it? What a tragedy.
Steve Jobs is often considered a pioneer of the personal computer revolution and that’s no secret. Jobs, is the face of the most successful computer company on the planet, Apple. Tragically in 2003 he was diagnosed with a rare pancreatic cancer.
Despite surgeries and a liver transplant, Jobs passed away in his hospital bed in 2011. He was surrounded by his loved ones as he muttered for the final time, “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.”
Perhaps best known for his role of Spock in Star Trek, Nimoy was an influential actor, film director, photographer, author, singer and songwriter who passed away at the age of 83 in 2015.
Just a couple days before his death, he sent out the following tweet, “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP”.
This hero needs no introduction. George Washington was instrumental to the building of the United States and will never be forgotten for his patriotism and honor.
Washington’s last words, “It is well, I die hard, but I am not afraid to go.” Fitting final words for an incredible human being.
The dreamy, talented, kind, funny, smart as a whip Heath Ledger tragically passed away in 2008, leaving broken hearts scattered everywhere in his path. His death was sadly brought on by prescription drug intoxication, which triggered cardiac arrest.
He was having trouble sleeping, thus relying on sleeping pills, the night before he passed away, he spoke with his sister, Katie. His final words are so heartbreaking, “Katie, Katie, look…it’ll be fine, you know, I just need to get some sleep.”
The diva that is Whitney Houston is still sorely missed. Her tragic death in February of 2012 was the result of an accidental drowning in her own bathtub brought on by heart disease and cocaine use.
Another star gone too soon because of her battle with addiction. A close friend revealed that her last words were, “I’m gonna go see Jesus, want to see Jesus.”
Joe DiMaggio was incredibly talented with a bat, he broke and set countless MLB records, ensuring that his legacy live on forever. In 1954, he married the incredibly charming and beautiful actress, Marilyn Monroe. However after just nine months, they divorced, and DiMaggio never quite got over it.
When Marilyn died at just age 36, DiMaggio was devastated and some years later, as he was dying of lung cancer, his final words were, “I finally get to see Marilyn.”
The love between soulmates is something precious and a feeling everyone deserves to experience. So when one of Hollywood’s great actors, John Wayne was on his deathbed with his wife by his side, you can only imagine what tenderness was uttered last.
He looked at her just once more, she asked him if he recognized her, and he simply replied with his last breath, “Of course I know who you are. You’re my girl. I love you.”
What didn’t Bob Hope do in his 80 year career as an entertainer? He was a comedian, vaudevillian, actor, singer, dancer, athlete, and author.
At the age of 100 (!), his final words were in response to his wife asking him where he’d like to be buried, “Surprise me” he had said. That gives me goosebumps.
If Benjamin Franklin knew the kind of legacy he’d leave behind, he would have done nothing differently. As such was his personality. He was quite witty, as we know from his writings and his final words.
Franklin was instructed to rotate to ensure he could breathe more easily and he responded rather sarcastically, “A dying man can do nothing easy.”
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The mystery novels that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle penned in his time are still influential in today’s 21st century and they forever will be. Sherlock Holmes has been remade time and time again, a testament to Doyle’s wonderful storytelling.
Before his death, he turned to his wife and said, “You are wonderful.” He then clutched his hands to his chest and passed away. How incredibly poetic and tragic.
You know the name, you know the legend. But did you know that Walt Disney died at the age of 65 from lung cancer?Something very peculiar happened at his death.
Just before his death, he scribbled down on a piece of paper, “Kurt Russell.” Why, no one knows because at the time, Kurt Russell was just a child actor at Disney. It’s very puzzling.
No one shaped the sound of Motown more than the singer/songwriter and record producer than that of Marvin Gaye. He was only 44 years old when he suffered a tragic end.
His final words were to his mother, “Mother, I’m going to get my things and get out of this house. Father hates me and I’m never coming back.” It wasn’t long after that, that Gaye’s father shot him, killing him in their LA home. Utterly tragic.
An outlaw and a folk hero. Ned Kelly is notoriously well known for his charm and Robin Hood antics, although some believe he was a hoodlum. That’s for you to decide.
When he was finally caught and put in the gallows, to be executed by hanging, his last words were nothing short of, “I suppose it had to come to this, such is life.”
Ugh. When news broke in 2013 that the beloved and talented Cory Monteith (forever Finn Hudson in our hearts) passed away at age 31 following a drug overdose, my heart broke. As did the hearts of his family, friends and fans. Especially that of his girlfriend, the lovely Lea Michele (Rachel Berry forever).
Michele revealed Monteith’s last words in her first album titled “Louder”, she wrote a tribute song using those exact words. While speaking on the phone, Monteith said, “I love you girl,” to which she replied, “I love you more.” Monteith’s last words were, “If you say so.” ~I’m not crying, you’re crying.~
Teddy Roosevelt was an American President known for his big bear personality, as he was incredibly loud, never backed down from anything at all, and was insanely intelligent.
The 26th President of the United States was also an explorer, author, soldier and naturalist. His final words were, “Put out the light.” How sad.
Long before the popularization of liposuction surgery, nose plastic surgery, and cosmetic plastic surgery, Humphrey Bogart dominated the screen with his naturally, chiseled good looks.
He sadly died of cancer in 1957. As for his last words, they were, “I should never have switched from Scotch to martinis.”
No one was more loved and admired then that of Frank Sinatra. His movies and music have stood the length of time and forever will. No one quite compares to the smooth voice of Sinatra.
After suffering from a long battle with dementia, in 1988 he suffered a heart attack. Alas, he ended up in hospital where he said his final tragic words, “I’m losing it.”
Over six decades, James Brown easily cemented his memory and talent as the Godfather of Soul. With hits like, “I Got You (I Feel Good),” it doesn’t get more iconic in the music world for funk than Brown.
Then in 2006, on Christmas Day, Brown passed away from congestive heart failure due to complications of pneumonia. His final words were to his personal manager Charles Bobbit, “I’m going away tonight.”
Speaking of music icons, we have Elvis. The King of Rock and Roll is considered to be one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century.
However, he passed away most tragically while on the toilet. It was 1977 and his last words were, “I’m going to the bathroom to read.”
Capote was a novelist, screenwriter, playwright, and actor, whose many, many short stories, novels, plays, and nonfiction are recognized still to this day as literary classics.
From In Cold Blood to Breakfast at Tiffany’s, his work will live on. He passed away from liver failure when he was just 60 and his final words as he reached our for his mother, “Mama. Mama. Mama.”
Malcolm X was a champion for civil rights and equality among African Americans. Malcolm X had said that we was being targeted by radical members of the Nation of Islam.
So, during an address to many Organization of Afro-American Unity members, he managed to say just after an outburst by an audience member, “Let’s cool it, brothers.” Before he was shot dead 21 times by a radical member of the Nation of Islam.
The raspy voice and heart wrenching lyrics of the talented Amy Winehouse are truly missed. This British singer had a long battle with drugs and alcohol.
Sadly, Winehouse died at only 27 years old from alcohol poisoning. Two hours before her death, she spoke to her GP and said, “I don’t want to die.”
The original hipster, no sorry, just kidding. Hemingway was a brilliant author who won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and contributed more to the English and Literature world than he would ever know.
Almost everyone has read one of his books, whether they read A Farewell to Arms, The Old Man and the Sea or The Sun Also Rises. In 1961, he committed suicide and directed his final words to his lovely wife Mary, “Goodnight my kitten.”
Quite often, Hitchcock was referred to as “The Master of Suspense,” which isn’t so surprising as he pioneered many elements of the suspense and psychological thriller genres we all know and love today.
His words are sheer poetry, “One never knows the ending. One has to die to know exactly what happens after death, although Catholics have their hopes.” Hitchcock died of kidney failure.
Ahh, who could forget the three-time Grammy Award–winner with the distinctive bass-baritone voice and romantic image? No one, that’s who. White is also one of the world’s best selling artists of all time.
That’s pretty incredible. Sadly in 2003, White passed away at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles with his final words being, “Leave me alone. I’m fine.”
Back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Emily Dickinson was a rising star as an American poet. Dickinson is still regarded as one of the most significant of all poets.
Many of her poems confronted the subjects of death and immortality. In 1886, Dickinson passed away with her final words were, “I must go in, for the fog is rising.”
Back in the 50’s, Errol Flynn was in almost every athletic movie as a dashing adventurer, but he was also known for his wild ways. His most famous role was as Robin Hood in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938).
This celebrated actor passed away from a heart attack. His final words were, “I’ve had a hell of a lot of fun and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
In case you don’t know it, Marx was known as a master of quick wit and is often considered as one of the best comedians of the modern era. Over his lifetime, he made 13 movies with his brothers, the famous Marx brothers.
In June of 1977, he was hospitalized with pneumonia. There he died about two months later, just four months after his brother Gummo died. This star’s final words rang very true to his character, “This is no way to live.”
Long before cosmetic plastic surgery and plastic surgeons were on every Hollywood star’s beck and call, the great Jimmy Stewart graced the screen with his naturally good looks that made everyone weak in the knees.
Sadly three years after his wife died, Jimmy passed away with only one thing on his mind and his final words, “I’m going to be with Gloria now.”
John F. Kennedy
JFK was a loved and highly admired President of the United States, making his assassination one that rocked the entire nation and is one that still has many wild conspiracy theories. His final words were, “No, you certainly can’t.”
Kennedy said this in response to his fellow passenger, Nellie Connally, the wife of Gov. John Connally. She had just remarked, “You certainly can’t say that the people of Dallas haven’t given you a nice welcome, Mr. President.”
John Adams was first and foremost an American patriot who served as the second President of the United States (1797–1801) and also as the first Vice President (1789–97). He was also a lawyer, diplomat, statesman, political theorist, and, as a Founding Father, he was a leader of the movement for American independence from Great Britain.
Then on July 4, 1826, at the age of 90, Adams lay on his deathbed as the country celebrated Independence Day. His final words were, “Thomas Jefferson still survives.” He was however mistaken as Jefferson had died five hours earlier at Monticello at the age of 82.
As most people should know, Bob Marley was a Jamaican singer-songwriter, musician and guitarist who achieved much international fame and acclaim, with his blend of reggae, ska and rocksteady in his compositions. In 1977, Marley was diagnosed with a type of malignant melanoma, cancer of the skin.
Despite doctor’s best efforts, Marley passed away from the cancer having spread to his spread lungs and brain. He was 36 years old. His final words were to his son, Ziggy, “Money can’t buy life.”
Oh, Debbie Reynolds, you are so truly missed. Your work as an actress, singer, businesswoman, film historian, and humanitarian is legendary and will never be forgotten.
When you died just one day after your beautiful and talented daughter, Carrie Fisher, hearts shattered into a million more pieces. Then our hearts broken even more when your son, Todd, told us your final words, “I want to be with Carrie.” ~Forever broken.~
As a Hollywood star, Crawford was ranked as the 10th greatest female stars of Classic Hollywood Cinema, which is an incredible achievement. More so than her distaste against cosmetic surgery.
She was 73 when she passed away. Shortly before her death, she yelled at her housekeeper who had been praying for her, “Damn it! Don’t you dare ask God to help me!”
Back in the 50’s, Ace was an incredibly talented R&B singer but his death at just 25 is one that is recalled more often than his talent. During a break at a performance in Texas, he was playing around with .22-caliber revolver and this was not uncommon for the 25 year old.
His bass player saw the entire thing unfold, Ace was playing around with the gun and someone said to him, “Be careful with that thing.” To which he promptly responded, “It’s okay! Gun’s not loaded… see?” Then bang, it was all over.
Joseph Henry Green
This one is just a tad bit creepy, no really. Green was an English surgeon and in 1863, he passed away from an actue seizure. You’d think that was pretty normal, and it is.
It’s the fact that he was checking his own pulse just before his death with his final word, “Stopped.” As in, he felt his own heart stop and quite literally dropped dead. Creepy, wouldn’t you say? Basically, he pronounced himself dead.
DaVinci is often regarded as an extraordinary artist. That’s not surprising, his work has stood the test of time. However on his death bed, he supposedly said something very contradictory to the quality of work we all know.
DaVinci said, “I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.” He had no idea the legacy he was leaving behind.
Oscar Wilde will always be remembered as one of London’s most popular playwrights in the early 1890s, his literary works still live on and we’re pretty sure always will. He’s written amazing classics like The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest.
Sadly, he was imprisoned for his sexual orientation and then ended up destitute in Paris. He died at the age of 46 while in Paris, uttering his final words, “Either that wallpaper goes, or I do.”
George Bernard Shaw
This Irish playwright was also a critic, and polemicist whose influence on Western theatre, culture, and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and still to this day.
His play, Pygmalion inspired the classic film, My Fair Lady. He passed away in 1950 and said to his nurse in hospital, “Sister, you’re trying to keep me alive as an old curiosity, but I’m done, I’m finished, I’m going to die.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
FDR was of course the incredible and loved 32nd President of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. He is remembered mostly for his four presidential elections (more than any other president), along with his works directing the United States government during an era of worldwide economic depression and total war.
Of course, one of his most famous quotes was, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” His final words were a little more tragic. He last said, “I have a terrific headache.” As he died of a cerebral hemorrhage.
Marie Antoinette was the last Queen of France prior to the French Revolution. In 1793, she was convicted for high treason and was sent to the guillotine for execution.
After she accidentally stepping on her executioner’s foot while she climbed the scaffold to the guillotine, she reportedly said: “Pardon me. I didn’t do it on purpose.”
This actor is known as the leading man of the 50s and 60s and is often considered as a prominent actor and ‘heartthrob’ of the Hollywood Golden Age.
At the age of 59, Hudson died in his sleep from AIDS-related complications. His final words were, “No. I don’t believe so,” to his partner, Tom Clark, who asked if Hudson wanted another cup of coffee.
Everyone should remember the famous I Love Lucy starlet who was also a comedian, model, film-studio executive, and producer. Her class, wit, charm and hilarious performances have stood the test of time as classics.
She was a revolutionary figure in comedy and the history of television. Her final words, “My Florida water,” when asked if she needed anything.
Landon was a sought after and highly loved actor, writer, director, and producer during the 50s through the early 90s. The world knew him best from Little House on the Prairie and Bonanza.
Sadly at the age of 54, he was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. Thus, his final words, “You’re right. It’s time. I love you all.”
Arnaz was a very popular Cuban-born American musician, actor, television producer, writer, and director who was married to his co-star of the iconic I Love Lucy show, Lucille Ball.
His death was the cause of lung cancer, after many years of smoking. Desi’s final words being to his former wife, Lucille Ball, over the phone, “I love you too, Honey. Good luck with your show.”
I will never forget how my mother cried when news broke out that the King of Pop had died. She was not the only one, everyone all over the globe resonated deeply with and loved Michael Jackson’s music, making his death all the more tragic.
Knowing that he died from a drug overdose given to him by his personal aide and doctor is even more infuriating. Michael’s last words were, “More milk.” Milk was the name that he had given to his drug, anesthetic propofol.
Harriet Tubman was a woman of great faith and a fighter the world of that time had never seen the likes of. She was never the type to fret over cosmetic surgery because she was a champion fighter against slavery and that is far more impressive than anything plastic surgeons could ever do.
She passed away when she reached her 90’s. Her final words were while surrounded by family as they sang, “Swing low, sweet chariot.”
Huddie William Ledbetter
Nicknamed “Lead Belly”, Ledbetter was quite the extraordinaire folk and blues musician. He has extraordinary strong vocals, incredible talent on the twelve-string guitar, and he introduced many to the era of folk music.
From “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” to “Midnight Special” he had hits that will forever influence music. His final words were, “Doctor, if I put this here guitar down now, I ain’t never gonna wake up.” And he was right.
Vince Lombardi is often considered as one of the great NFL coaches there ever was. Lombardi was best known for coaching the Green Bay Packers.
Sadly, he suffered from colon cancer. Before his death in 1970, he turned to his dear wife and said, “Happy anniversary. I love you.” (Excuse me as I wipe away tears.)
The beloved comedian and actor that was Robin Williams sadly committed suicide on August 11, 2014, at his home in California, at just the age of 63. Following his death, we learned that Williams was suffering from severe depression, he slept in a different room from his wife because of his restlessness and anxiety caused by his Parkinson’s.
His last known message was addressed to his daughter Zelda via social media, Instagram to be specific. It read: “#tbt and Happy Birthday to Ms. Zelda Rae Williams! Quarter of a century old today but always my baby girl. Happy Birthday @zeldawilliams Love you!”. Beyond heart breaking.
Ugh, another incredible comedian and actor that left us too soon. At just 33 years old, Farley’s death was accidental, the coroner said, “Chris Farley died of opiate (morphine) and cocaine intoxication and his death was determined to be accident.” December 17th, 1997 was the day and Farley spent it with a hooker named Heidi, they partied just a bit too hard, as she was leaving his apartment, Farley collapsed about 10 feet from the door.
Heidi went on to claim she heard that he was having difficulty breathing. He said to her, “Don’t leave me.” Sadly, she figured he had finally passed out, and proceeded to snap a photograph of him lying there and then left. His brother John found him the next day, in the same spot.
The incredibly talented Nirvana rock musician Kurt Cobain was discovered dead by an electrician, Gary Smith, who had arrived to install a security system. At first, Smith thought Cobain was sleeping.
He noted a bit of blood coming out of his ear but it wasn’t until he saw the shotgun pointing at his chin that Smith alerted police. His suicide note said, “It’s better to burn out than to fade away.” A high concentration of heroin and traces of diazepam were found in his body.
During filming of a segment for his show, Steve “The Crocodile Hunter” Irwin was stabbed in the chest by a stingray. His final words were to his cameraman, “I’m dying.”
According to the incident’s only witness, “All of a sudden [the stingray] propped on its front and started stabbing wildly with its tail. Hundreds of strikes in a few seconds”. The stingray’s barb pierced his heart, causing him to bleed to death. Crew members aboard the boat administered CPR and rushed him to shore but the medical staff pronounced him dead at the scene.
Just about everyone knows the story and while many speculate that Tupac is still alive, it’s really not likely. In September 1996, after leaving a boxing match with former Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight, the rapper and his bodyguards got into a scuffle with a Crips gang member.
Carroll, a police officer who worked with the city’s bike patrol unit, had been watching the same fight, but was not aware of the brawl taking place in the lobby. Carroll revealed Tupac’s last words and they’re not exactly eloquent, “He looked at me, and he took a breath to get the words out, and he opened his mouth, and then the words came out: ‘F**k you.'”
The actor Ryan Dunn’s final words were, “Stopping for a beer, be there when I can.” This was Dunn’s last text to his fellow actor Bam Margera before his crash.
Back on June 20, 2011, Dunn and Zachary Hartwell, a production assistant on Jackass Number Two, were killed when Dunn’s Porsche 911 GT3 veered off the road, hit a tree and burst into flames. Dunn was only 34 years old.
Here’s what you need to know about Nostradamus, he was one of the most famous seers of all time. No, seriously! He reported some 6,338 prophecies during his lifetime, some world predictions included the Great Fire of London, the rise of Adolf Hitler, the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, and his own death.
One evening, he said to his secretary, “Tomorrow, at sunrise, I shall no longer be here.” And the next morning, he was found dead on the floor at 62 years old.
Coleman was best known for his role on Different Strokes and for his rather short stature, 4 feet, 8 inches or 1.42 meters. Tragically, after his hit TV role, his life went downhill.
In May 2010, he uttered his last words to his ex-girlfriend, “I love you and my head hurts.” He died from an epidural hemorrhage, which was reportedly the result of a head injury.
Baker was a well known French vedette, singer and entertainer, she passed away at just the age of 68. People reportedly said that she died from boredom. Yes, you read that correct. Boredom.
Following a party she apparently left early, she said to the guests these final words, “Oh, you young people act like old men. You are no fun.” Later, she was found in bed after she suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died in the hospital.
The Maxim model and The Bachelor star sadly committed suicide at just 29. In 2013, she was found hanged in her home and was rushed to hospital, she was declared brain dead.
Just two days later, they removed her from life support. Before her death, she spoke to her mom on the phone and left behind a suicide note that read, “Mom gets everything.”
The suave but dangerous Al Capone was an American gangster infamous during the Prohibition era. He continues to be depicted in films and shows about those years in American history.
At age 48, Capone passed away from extremely poor health, including syphilis, pneumonia, a stroke and cardiac arrest. At the time, he was mentally disabled. His final words reportedly were, “You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can get with a kind word alone.”
Knotts was known for his roles on The Andy Griffith Show and Three’s Company. At the time of his death, his co-star and best friend, Andy Griffith, was with him in those final moments.
Griffth said that Knotts couldn’t speak but he firmly believed Knotts could hear him. He told him to keep breathing, and that was it.
Louis XIV, King of France
Also known as Louis the Great or the Sun King, he was a monarch of the House of Bourbon. He ruled as King of France from 1643 until his death in 1715.
In fact, his reign of 72 years and 110 days is THE longest of any monarch. His final words were, “Why do you weep. Did you think I was immortal?”
Ludwig van Beethoven
Does Beethoven really need an introduction? Probably not but in any case, he was a German composer and pianist. Okay fine, to this day, he remains one of the most famous and incredibly influential composers of all time.
Beethoven will forever be the most famous classical pianist. He passed away at age 57 with his last words being, “Friends applaud, the comedy is over.”
Ah, America’s most famous inventor…the one and only, Thomas Edison. The brilliant inventor Thomas Edison’s last words were rather close in spirit to Jobs’s own reported exit line.
According to numerous sources, which include the book “Edison: Inventing the Century” by Neil Baldwin, just hours before his death, Edison apparently emerged from a coma. At that moment, he opened his eyes and looked upwards as he uttered his final words, “It is very beautiful over there.”
1984 and Brave New World are still widely read today by people all over the world. Thus, Orwell’s legacy lives on.
Famous and very talented author George Orwell’s last written words as reportedly, “At fifty, everyone has the face he deserves.” He sadly passed away at age 46.
Richard Feynman was a well known physicist, musician, professor, author, and traveler. During World War II, he helped with the development of the A bomb.
The public grew to know him for his role as part of the Rogers Commission to investigate the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Unfortunately, he died in Los Angeles in 1988 and his last words are quite…heavy, “This dying is boring.”
Thomas J. Grasso
Including this name on our list isn’t so easy, but his last words are rather odd. Convicted murderer Thomas J. Grasso was on death row when he said his last words. Grasso was sentenced to death after murdering two elderly people.
So, his last words uttered were to actually complain about his last meal. He famously said, “I did not get my Spaghetti-O’s; I got spaghetti. I want the press to know this.”
Edward R. Murrow
American broadcast journalist, Murrow became famous for his broadcasting during World War II. His legacy includes pioneering TV news broadcasting and reports that led to the censure of Senator Joseph McCathy.
Pretty remarkable. At just 57 years old, Edward R. Murrow sadly passed away as he was patting his wife’s hand. He said to her, “Well, Jan, we were lucky at that.”
James W. Rodgers
In 1957, Rogers was sentenced to death by the state of Utah for the heinous murder of miner Charles Merrifield. Rogers was given the choice of execution by either a firing squad or hanging.
In the end, he chose to be shot. When asked if he had a last request, he smiled and said, “Bring me a bullet-proof vest.” Quite the story!
Ugh. I am seriously forever broken knowing that the wonderful Paul Walker is no longer with us – as I am sure so many of his friends, family, and fans are too. And what a way to go. If you know anything about him at all, you would know that he was confident behind the wheel of a car.
When he and his friend friend Roger Rodas (who was driving) died in a single-vehicle collision at a charity event in November 2013, you were probably shocked beyond all belief. Later, it came out that his final words were to an engineer at the event, Jim Torp, “We will be back in five minutes.” You were probably screaming. Ugh.
Perhaps one of the most influential people in Great Britain during the early 1900s until 1965, he is famous for inspiration quotes. Perhaps, you have even quoted his, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
At age 90, he suffered a stroke and slipped into a coma. However, before falling into a coma, he last said something a bit different than the public was used to, saying, “Oh, I am so bored with it all.”
So Joseph Wright was a linguist who actually edited the English Dialect Dictionary. I know, right? His last word? “Dictionary.” How fitting. Sadly, he passed away from pneumonia in 1930.
Apparently, he was a big influence for author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series, J. R. R. Tolkien. He tutored Tolkien at Oxford University.
This Italian painter/architect is one of the best in history, not just from the High Renaissance. Actually, he is often grouped with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci as masters of their period.
From his ease of composition and clarity of form, experts cannot stop admiring his talents. Turns out that the Italian artist Raphael’s last word was just simply: “Happy.” Could be worse, eh?
Mahler was a Jewish, German-speaking Jew born in Bohemia, which was then part of Austria. Much of his music was banned during the Nazi era, but gained popularity afterwards. His work served as a bridge between the Austro-German 19th century style and more modern styles of the early 20th century.
At the end of his life, Mahler was diagnosed with bacterial endocarditis, which is a disease caused by defective heart valves. Soon after, he fell ill with pneumonia. Yup, the composer Gustav Mahler died in his own be while he was conducting an imaginary orchestra. His last word was just, “Mozart!”
Iconic blues singer that was Bessie Smith was not nicknamed the EMpress of the Blues for nothing. She is the most famous female Blues singer from her period, the 20’s and 30’s. She recorded with some of the world’s most celebrated artists like Louis Armstrong and Coleman Hawkins.
Tragically, the singer died from complications due to a car accident. The famous singer died saying, “I’m going, but I’m going in the name of the Lord.”
Now, we’ve landed on the composer Jean-Philippe Rameau. He was perhaps, the most famous French composer and music theorist for the entire 18th century. Not too bad, right?
Turns out that he actually objected to a song that was sung at his bedside. He last said, “What the devil do you mean to sing to me, priest? You are out of tune.”
William Henry Seward
William Henry Seward was indeed the architect of the Alaska Purchase. Historians know him as the US Secretary of State, serving from 1861 to 1869.
In addition, he was the Governor of New York and also a state Senator. At his deathbed, he was asked if he had any final words to share. He replied with, “Nothing, only ‘love one another.’”
Apparently, philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre was awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature but turned it down. He did not want to be turned into an institution.
Anyway, his work on the philosophy of phenomenology and existentialism were groundbreaking in the field. Upon his death, he turned to his partner, one last time, famous author Simone de Beauvoir and said, “I love you very much, my dear Beaver.” Touching.
Margaret Sanger, known as a birth control advocate, is famous for opening up the very first birth control clinic in America. Sanger was not only a birth control activist, but a sex educator, author and nurse.
She founded the organizations that eventually evolved into Planned Parenthood. On her deathbed, she uttered her last words, “A party! Let’s have a party.”
Rainer Maria Rilke
Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist, Rainer Maria Rilke’s work has often been described as mystical. His work centered on deeply existential themes.
Even to this day, he is one of the top selling poets in America. At his death, he said, “I don’t want the doctor’s death. I want to have my own freedom.”
Moving onto the author Vladimir Nabokov, who was also an entomologist, especially interested in butterflies. At first, he wrote his novels in Russian.
Once he began writing English prose, his work gained international fame. His last words are understandable considering his work, “A certain butterfly is already on the wing.”
Herman Melville, an author, most famous for Moby Dick is one of the best writers in history. He wasn’t only an author of novels, this talented man was also a celebrated poet.
Melville’s last words as, “God bless Captain Vere!” Which refers to his then-unpublished novel Billy Budd, which was found on his desk after he died.
Richard B. Mellon
Multimillionaire and the President of Alcoa, Richard B. and his brother Andrew had an ongoing game of Tag. One that lasted some seven decades.
So while on his deathbed, he called his brother, Andrew over, and whispered, “Last tag.” As a result, Andrew stayed “it” for four years, until his death.
Sir Isaac Newton
He should have been called “Humble Sir Isaac Newton.” We all know Sir Isaac Newton for many things, one being formulating the laws of motion and gravity. He was a trailblazer in science.
When he passed, he said, “I don’t know what I may seem to the world. But as to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore and diverting myself now and then in finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than the ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”
Louise-Marie-Thérèse de Saint Maurice, Comtesse de Vercellis
The Princess Louise-Marie-Thérèse de Saint Maurice, Comtesse de Vercellis actually tooted while she was dying. Historians know her for more than her marriage to Louis Alexandre de Bourbon-Penthièvre.
In addition, she was the confidante of Queen Marie Antoinette. She was killed in the massacres of September 1792 during the French Revolution.Therefore she said, “Good. A woman who can fart is not dead.”
Oh man, I’m trying to remain respectful here but Buddy Rich’s last words make me giggle. Rich, a drummer, died after a surgery in 1987.
While he was getting prepped for the surgery, a nurse had asked him, “Is there anything you can’t take?” Rich smoothly replied, “Yeah, country music.”
Albert Abraham Michelson
Albert Abraham Michelson dedicated his entire life to measuring the speed of light and moreover, he became the first American to win a Nobel Prize for physics. Even at the age of 78, as he was slowly dying, he measured light.
He wrote in his log for what would be the last time, “The following is a report on the measurement of the velocity of light made at the Irvine Ranch, near Santa Ana, California, during the period of September 1929 to—.”
Thomas B. Moran
Thomas B. Moran was actually quite a famous pickpocket, who was known by the keen nickname “Butterfingers.” It’s reported that he most likely stole some 50,000 wallets in his crime filled career.
He died in 1971, and his last words were, “I’ve never forgiven that smart-alecky reporter who named me Butterfingers. To me, it’s not funny.”