Dead Lines: Famous Last Words—Both Eerie And Odd
The last words spoken before they die can be unsettling, odd, and even funny.
These famous last words of celebrities, politicians, and entertainers will give you a chill. The words quoted here range from humorous to spiritual to just plain strange. Whatever your reaction, you will gain a bit of insight into the personality and soul in the final moments of life.
The final thoughts and words of famous people before death
Famous last words spoken by sports figures
“I’m going over the valley.”
Home Run King
The Babe suffered from throat cancer late in his life. The cancer was advanced and his doctors could do little to help. As Ruth wandered around his hospital room, his doctor asked him where he was going.
“I’m in no pain. No pain. Don’t cry for me, Rahaman. I’m going to be with Allah. I made peace with God, I’m okay… Rahaman, how do I look?”
Former heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali was known as the greatest of all time. In his later years, Ali suffered from Parkinson’s syndrome related to brain injuries from his boxing career. Rahman Ali was his younger brother.
Famous last words of artists and entertainers
“Where is my clock?”
Dali’s iconic surrealistic image “The Persistence of Memory” featured melting clocks. He described his paintings as “hand-painted dream photographs.” Dali died of heart failure at age 84.
“How were the receipts today at Madison Square Garden?”
Ever the businessman, Barnum’s last words concerned the bottom line. He had suffered a stroke during a performance.
“Applaud, my friends, the comedy is finished.”
(“Plaudite, amici, comedia finita est.”)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Beethoven may have been referring to the traditional formula used to end a performance known as commedia dell’arte. His actual final words remain uncertain, as several quotes have been attributed to him in his final moments.
“Why not? After all, it belongs to him.”
The silent film star had been declining in health in his later years. A priest was called in to read Chaplin his last rites. Chaplin’s last words came in response to the priest’s words “May the Lord have mercy on your soul.” Chaplin later died of a stroke in his sleep.
“I hope the exit is joyful and hope never to return.”
The painter of unique self-portraits penned these words in her diary a few days before her death. Officially she died of pulmonary embolism. However, some have speculated that the cause was actually a drug overdose.
“Die, my dear? Why that’s the last thing I’ll do!”
The comedian famous for one-liners and double entendres delivered this line before dying of pneumonia at age 90.
“Play Mozart in memory of me—and I will hear you.”
Composer and Pianist
Chopin was known as the poet of the piano. He most likely would have studied and been influenced by Mozart’s music as a student. Chopin died at the young age of 39. It has been conjectured he died from tuberculosis, but his cause of death remains a mystery.
“Say good-bye to Pat, say good-bye to Jack and say good-bye to yourself, because you’re a nice guy.”
Hollywood Star and Actress
Marilyn’s last words were spoken to Peter Lawford. She was saying goodbye to Lawford and his wife Pat, as well as President John F. “Jack” Kennedy. Monroe would die of a barbiturate overdose.
“Goodbye. If we meet… ”
Author and Humorist
Mark Twain suffered from bouts of deep depression after the death of his daughters and wife. He had predicted his death based on the sighting of Halley’s Comet at his birth in 1835 and reappearance in 1910. He would die of a heart attack at age 74.
Mark Twain said about his death, “I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: “Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together”.
“The story of life is quicker than the blink of an eye, the story of love is hello and goodbye until we meet again.”
Musician and Guitarist
These were the last lines of a poem penned by Hendrix, found next to him on his deathbed. The legendary musician was only 27 years old. He had died of asphyxia after taking barbiturates and sleeping pills.
“The taste of death is upon my lips…I feel something, that is not of this earth.”
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Composer and Musician
The great composer was taken by a fever epidemic. However, some researchers have speculated he was killed by poisoning. Mozart himself made comments about feeling like he had been poisoned. The mystery may never be solved.
“I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.”
Leonardo da Vinci
Artist, Inventor, Scientist
Leonardo da Vinci died from a stroke at the age of 67. Interestingly, he indicated in his will that sixty beggars should follow his casket during the funeral procession.
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Famous last words of scientists and inventors
“It’s very beautiful over there.”
Inventor and Businessman
Edison lapsed in and out of consciousness as he lay dying. He made this comment to his wife, who watched over him. Some have debated whether he was referring to the afterlife or just the view out his bedside window.
“Oh wow, Oh wow. Oh wow.”
The last words of Steve Jobs were recorded by his sister before his death. Pancreatic cancer had taken one of the great visionaries of our time.
“I don’t know what I may seem to the world. But as to myself, I seem to have been only a boy playing on the seashore and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”
Sir Isaac Newton
Physicist, Mathematician, Astronomer
Newton died in his sleep at age 84. An examination of his body after death revealed high levels of mercury in his hair, most likely a result of his years of alchemy. His eccentric behavior in his later life could be explained by mercury poisoning.
“Don’t disturb my circles!” (or “Don’t disturb my equation!”)
Ancient Greek Mathematician, Physicist, Engineer, Inventor, and Astronomer
A Roman soldier was sent out to arrest Archimedes. The soldier found him sitting on the ground, working on geometry theorems. In the struggle, the soldier killed him, even though he was instructed not to.
Famous last words of politicians and statesmen
“I’m so bored with it all.”
British Prime Minister
Churchill suffered several strokes in his later years. Despite his poor health, he remained active in public life to his last days. A final stroke took his life at age 90.
“I am just going. Have me decently buried and do not let my body be into a vault in less than two days after I am dead. Do you understand me? ’Tis well. I die hard, but I am not afraid to go.”
President of the United States
The first President of the United States had a fear of being buried alive. His final words were to his secretary Tobias Lear, instructing him on how to handle his burial after death.
“She won’t think anything about it.”
President of the United States
Lincoln and his wife Mary settled into their seats in Ford Theater. As he reached for Mary’s hand, she asked him what Clara Harris sitting next to them might think. Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.
“Oh, do not cry. Be good children, and we shall all meet in Heaven … I want to meet you all, white and black, in Heaven.”
President of the United States, U.S. Army General, Statesman
The former President and future face of the $20 bill was speaking to his grandchildren and servants before he died. He was 78 years old. He suffered from heart failure among other chronic illnesses.
“I resign my spirit to God, my daughter to my country.”
President of the United States
Jefferson died on the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He queried his doctor “Is it the Fourth?” followed by his last words.
“A dying man can do nothing easily.”
Founding Father, Statesman, Inventor, Printer
Franklin’s final words came in response to his daughter, who suggested he lay on his side in order to breathe easier. He suffered and died of pleurisy (lung infection or pneumonia).
The Body of B. Franklin, Printer,
Like the Cover of an old Book,
Its Contents torn out,
And Stript of its Lettering & Gilding,
Lies here, Food for Worms,
But the Work shall not be lost,
For it will as he believ’d,
appear once more
In a new and more elegant Edition
Corrected and improved
By the author.
– Benjamin Franklin, on a plaque at his gravesite
“Pardon me, sir. I did not do it on purpose.”
(“Pardonnez-moi, monsieur. Je ne l’ai pas fait exprès.”)
Queen of France and Archduchess of Austria
Marie Antoinette was convicted for treason during the French Revolution. As she approached the guillotine to be beheaded for her crimes, she stepped on the foot of the executioner.
“This is the last of Earth! I am content!”
John Quincy Adams
President of the United States
John Quincy Adams was the sixth President of the United States. His father, John Adams, was the second President after George Washington. After his Presidency, the younger Adams became a member of congress. He suffered a fatal stroke on the floor of the House of Representatives and died two days later.
More funny and strange famous last words
“We’ve caught them napping!”
George Armstrong Custer
U. S. Cavalry Officer
As Custer approached the Sioux/Cheyenne encampment he uttered these words before charging. Few survivors remained to confirm Custer’s final words because of the rout delivered by the warring tribes, leading some researchers to dispute the quote’s accuracy.
“I know you are here to kill me. Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man.”
Socialist Revolutionary Leader
The Bolivian army killed Guevara and cut off his hands as proof of death. He has since become a hero and an icon of anti-imperialism and revolution to many people around the world.
Bonus Last Words
Just a few more…
“Let us cross over the river and sit under the shade of the trees.”
“Don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something.”
“I am dying beyond my means.” Also… “Either that wallpaper goes, or I do.”
These famous last words are thought-provoking and may have given you a chill or a chuckle. We hope you enjoyed these famous last words — the last thoughts of celebrities, politicians and other famous people.
— Greg Johnson
Greg is a writer and co-founder of ListCaboodle.
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