70 People and Their Famous Last Words
Elvis Presley, the iconic singer and actor still remains alive in the hearts of music-lovers. Suffering from sleeplessness, Presley told his fiancée, Ginger Alden, “I’m going to the bathroom to read.” The star apparently fell asleep forever. Last words carry a lot of significance for the near and dear ones of the deceased. This compilation comprises of funny, weird, meaningless, menacing and even insignificant last words of 70 famous people.
1. Not surprisingly Joseph Wright, the renowned philologist and linguist who was the force behind Oxford English Dialect Dictionary, uttered the word “Dictionary” just before dying.
2. The final words of Raphael, the noted artist of the High Renaissance period in Italy, were “Happy”.
3. The famous music composer of the late-Romantic era, Gustav Mahler, was conducting an imaginary opera in his bed at the time of his death. The last thing he uttered was “Mozart!”
4. The final words of the Empress of Blues, Bessie Smith were, “I’m going, but I’m going in the name of the Lord.”
5. A highly regarded composer and music theorist of the Baroque era Jean-Philippe Rameau condescended the priest, as the latter attempted to sing at Jean’s bedside in his final days. He said, “What the devil do you mean to sing to me, priest? You are out of tune.”
6. The “Ol’ Blue Eyes” Frank Sinatra said “I’m losing it.” at his deathbed.
7. The last words penned by English novelist George Orwell were, “At fifty, everyone has the face he deserves.” Ironically he passed away at the age of 46.
8. Secretary of State William Henry Seward, who orchestrated the ‘Purchase of Alaska’ said “Nothing, only ‘love one another.’”,when asked if he had any last thing to share.
9. The French philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre, who was also a man of letters, professed his love for his beau, Simone de Beauvoir, one last time by saying, “I love you very much, my dear Beaver.”
10. Margaret Sanger who remained dedicated to the cause of legalizing birth control her entire life, uttered the final words, “A party! Let’s have a party.”
11. Distinguished Hungarian poet, Rainer Maria Rilke, was determined to live life on his own terms even in death. He said, “I don’t want the doctor’s death. I want to have my own freedom.”
12. The celebrated seer Nostradamus forecasted his own death, “Tomorrow, at sunrise, I shall no longer be here.”
13. The novelist and chess aficionado, Vladimir Nabokov also harbored a deep interest of studying butterflies. Remarkably his final utterance was, “A certain butterfly is already on the wing.”
14. Eminent writer, Herman Melville belonging to the American Renaissance period was working on a novel titled ‘Billy Budd’. With his last breath he said, “God bless Captain Vere!”; the Captain was a character from his unpublished novel.
15. Marie Antoinette, the last Queen of France before the French Revolution, faced execution on charges of treason. On the D-Day, while the executioner came to escort her to the death chambers, the former Queen of France stepped on her executioner’s foot. Her apologies to the slaughterer were her last words, “Pardonnez-moi, monsieur.”
16. The business baron, Richards B. Mellon, who presided over the ‘Aluminum Company of America’, frequently entered into partnerships with his brother Andrew. What not many know is that the two had a game of Tag going on for decades between them. Richard however won the game when he tagged Andrew for one last time from his death bed. The former whispered “Last Tag” which were supposedly his last words.
17. Harriet Tubman the famous underground railroad conductor who helped to free hundreds from the clutches of slavery said, “Swing low, sweet chariot.” With her last breath.
18. The Newtonian laws of gravity revolutionized the world of physics but the man himself remained down-to-earth till his last breath. His final statement was, “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.”
19. The Italian polymath and artist Leonardo da Vinci said, “I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.”As he lay on his deathbed. Is it possible that the Mona Lisa is overhyped?
20. Louise-Marie-Thérèse de Saint Maurice, Comtesse de Vercellis, had a not so dignified end to her life. Her last words were, “Good. A woman who can fart is not dead.”
21. Apparently the final words of drummer Buddy Rich were spoken to the nurse who was prepping him for a surgery that eventually took the artist’s life. Inquiring about anything the musician was allergic to the nurse asked,“Is there anything you can’t take?” to which Rich replied, “Yeah, country music.”
22. The R&B singer Johnny Ace, died in an accident which occurred while the artist was playing with his pistol saying, “I’ll show you that it won’t shoot.”
23. The physicist, Richard Feynman, was a man of eclectic interests. The last words he spoke were “This dying is boring.”
24. During his final days Benjamin Franklin faced difficulties in breathing. Once his daughter advised him to shift his position on the bed in order to be able to breathe easily. To this Franklin replies, “A dying man can do nothing easy.”
25. Nobel laureate, Albert Abraham Michelson, died while doing what he liked best which was measuring light. The log which contained his observations contained his last words, “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—.”
26. Thomas B. Moran earned notorious fame for stealing as many as 50,000 wallets in his lifetime. His final words were aimed at the reporter who gave him the nickname ‘Butterfingers’; “I’ve never forgiven that smart-alecky reporter who named me Butterfingers. To me, it’s not funny.”
27. Infamous murderer James W. Rodgers was sentenced to death and was asked his final wish before the firing squad could perform the execution. He replied, “Bring me a bullet-proof vest.”
28. The movies ‘Lucky Luciano’ and ‘The Last Testament of Lucky Luciano’, honor the last wish of the mob leader Charles Luciano, whose dying wish was, “Tell Georgie I want to get in the movies one way or another.”
29. John Arthur Spenkelink was a murder convict, whose trial grabbed many eyeballs owing to the nature of his execution; capital punishment which and been banned in the country was legalized again. Spenkelink’s final words were, “Capital punishment means those without the capital get the punishment.”
30. Murderer Thomas J. Grasso, spent his final days in jail before facing execution. The last words he spoke were, “I did not get my Spaghetti-O’s; I got spaghetti. I want the press to know this.”
31. The creator of fictional character Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, met death at 71 but not before complimenting his wife for one last time. He turned to his wife and said, “You are wonderful,”just before dying.
32. The name of his wife, “Valerie” escaped the lips of author T.S. Eliot before crossing the bridge to other side.
33. C. Fields, was a well-known comedian who made humor in death too. Referring to his mistress, he said, God damn the whole friggin’ world and everyone in it but you, Carlotta.”
34. The Australian musician Percy Grainger said, “You’re the only one I like.” to his wife Ella as he lay dying.
35. Michael Landon’s son said to his dying father that it was time to move on. To this the actor replied, “You’re right. It’s time. I love you all.”
36. The renowned NFL coach Vince Lombardi was best-known for leading the Green Bay Packers to the championships not once not twice but five times. As the coach lay dying, his wife Marie sat by his bedside. Just before his death he said to Marie, “Happy anniversary. I love you.”
37. The eminent columnist of ‘New York Day by Day’ fame, O.O. McIntyre addressed his wife as Snooks and the final words which he spoke were, “Snooks, will you please turn this way. I like to look at your face.”
38. Celebrated radio and news anchor, Edward R. Murrow, presented eyewitness reports during the occupation of Vienna and other battles during the WWII. Before dying he patted his wife’s hand and said, “Well, Jan, we were lucky at that.”
39. Iconic film star John Wayne, died of cancer at the age of 72. His last words were: “Of course I know who you are. You’re my girl. I love you.”
40. The Casablanca star Humphrey Bogart spoke his last words to his wife who was leaving to pick up the kids. He said, “Goodbye, kid. Hurry back.”
41. Ernest Hemmingway bid his final adieu to his wife and said, “Goodnight my kitten.”
42. The singer-actor, Donald O’ Connor, was the master of ceremony during the 1954 Academy Awards. Surrounded by his family before his death, he lightened the somber mood saying, “I’d like to thank the Academy for my lifetime achievement award that I will eventually get.” The artist is yet to receive one.
43. Playwright Eugene O’ Neil was born in a hotel room and coincidentally he was staying at a Boston hotel at the time of his death. His final words ricochets our sentiment, “I knew it! I knew it! Born in a hotel room and, goddamn it, dying in a hotel room.”
44. ‘Barney Miller’ star Jack Soo became a household name, courtesy of the trashy coffee he made in office. The star died of stomach cancer but even in death he found humor. While being taken to the operation theatre, Soo joked with his co-star Hal Linden saying that, “It must have been the coffee.”
45. The multi-faceted artist, Josephine Baker, lived life to the fullest. The night she crossed the bridge to other side, she left a party held in her honor blaming the guests saying, “Oh, you young people act like old men. You are no fun.”
46. The soap opera writer, Charles Gussman, professed his desire for his last words to be memorable. Realizing he did not have much time left, Gussman’s daughter reminded him of his wish. Listening to this the writer took off his oxygen mask and said, “And now for a final word from our sponsor—.”
47. The final speech of Groucho Marx was, “This is no way to live!”
48. Groucho’s brother Chico Marx passed on a final set of instructions to his wife before dying. He said, “Remember, Honey, don’t forget what I told you. Put in my coffin a deck of cards, a mashie niblick, and a pretty blonde.” For those not so familiar with golf, a mashie niblick is a golf stick.
49. The colorful raconteur, Wilson Mizner, did not fail to quip one of his anecdotes even while lying on his deathbed. When the priest asked Mizner, “I’m sure you want to talk to me.” he replied, “Why should I talk to you? I’ve just been talking to your boss.”
50. “One never knows the ending. One has to die to know exactly what happens after death, although Catholics have their hopes.” were the final words of Alfred Hitchcock.
51. Legendary basketball player, Pete Maravich died while doing what he loved. After collapsing during a game, he uttered, “I feel great.”
52. Vladimir Ilych Lenin’s last words were spoken to a dog. He said “Vot sobaka”, meaning “Good dog” as the animal brought a dead bird.
53. Musician Leadbelly told the medicine man, “Doctor, if I put this here guitar down now, I ain’t never gonna wake up.” And as it would turn out he was right.
54. Mathematician Fantet de Lagny answered a mathematics question for the last time. When asked, “What is the square of 12?” he replied: “One hundred and forty-four.”
55. Filmmaker-writer Derek Jarman’s final words were, “I want the world to be filled with white fluffy duckies.”
56. The former British Prime Minister and Nobel Laureate, Sir Winston Churchill, was a man of letters. However his final words were, “I’m bored with it all.”
57. Hollywood actress Joan Crawford’s last words were aimed at her housekeeper, who prayed as the actress breathed her last. She admonished saying, “Damn it! Don’t you dare ask God to help me!”
58. A pioneer of rock and roll music, Bo Diddley wielded magic with his guitar. He was listening to the song “Walk Around Heaven.” at the time of his death. The last word he ever spoke was “Wow.”
59. Moe Berg who garnered much attention not because of his baseball career but the legends of him being a secret agent, asked “How did the Mets do today?” from his deathbed.
60. Illustrious poet Emily Dickinson spoke the final words, “I must go in, for the fog is rising.”
61. The trailblazing author of ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’, Truman Capote went on reciting, “Mama— Mama— Mama.” on his deathbed.
62. The pioneer of funk music James Brown said, “I’m going away tonight.”
63. The English surgeon Joseph Henry Green, who was named as the literary executor of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, pronounced the word, “Stopped” just before he died. Apparently he was checking on his own pulse.
64. Steve Jobs, the man who revamped Apple as a global force in the field of electronics, was saying “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.” moments before losing consciousness.
65. The legendary music composer Ludwig van Beethoven, said “Friends applaud, the comedy is finished.” while he lay dying.
66. The famous dictator and military general, Napoleon Bonaparte recited the name “Josephine…” as he breathed his last.
67. The final words of French essayist and grammarian Dominique Bouhours were, “I am about to — or I am going to — die: either expression is correct.”
68. The acclaimed writer of ‘Jane Eyre’ fame, Charlotte Bronte, asked her husband, Rev. Arthur Nicholls, from her deathbed, “Oh, I am not going to die, am I? He will not separate us, we have been so happy.”
69. Charles II, the King of England and Scotland requested, “Don’t let poor Nelly starve.” from his death bed. The ruler was referring to Nell Gwynne his mistress.
70. The half of comedy team ‘Abbott and Costello’, Lou Costello spoke the words, “That was the best ice-cream soda I ever tasted.” with his last breath.