40 People and Their Famous Last Words

Most of us don’t want to think about the end, but death is something we all must face. While it would be great if we went quietly in our sleep, this isn’t the case for everyone. Some people have more time and understand that death is imminent due to sickness or other predicaments. When you have time on your hands it gives you the chance to think of something prophetic or life-changing to say with your last breath. There are many people in the world whose famous last words have been the subject of conjecture and rumor for decades. 

While it’s hard to know if these famous last words were actually spoken, as there isn’t documentation for many of them, it’s nice to believe these people had the smarts to come up with these interesting words before it all ended. Some are inspirational while others are weird, but are have all become famous last words over the years. From artists and musicians to writers and politicians, here are 40 people and their famous last words. 

40 People and Their Famous Last Words


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1. “Goodnight, my kitten.” – Ernest Hemmingway

The writer uttered these words to his wife before committing suicide. 

2. “I’m going away tonight.” – James Brown

The soul singer’s last words turned out to be true. 

3. “Friends applaud, the comedy is finished.” – Ludwig Van Beethoven

The German composer died during a storm after a long battle with illness. 

4. “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.” – Steve Jobs

Apple founder Jobs spoke these words after looking at his family for the final time. 

5. “Dictionary” – Joseph Wright

Wright was a linguist who edited the English Dialect Dictionary. He also had a good sense of humor. 

6. “Happy” – Raphael

The Italian artist went out of this world in a good mood. 

7. “Pardon me, sir. I meant not to do it.” – Marie Antoinette

Polite to the end, Antoinette said these words after accidentally stepping on the foot of her executioner. Seconds later she was headless. 

8. “Motzart” – Gustav Mahler

Composer Mahler was conducting an imaginary orchestra when he carked it. 

9. “I’m going, but I’m going in the name of the Lord.” – Bessie Smith

These are the final words from the famous blues singer.

10. “How’s this for your headline? ‘French Fries.'” – James Donald French

The convicted murderer showed his humorous side with this phrase spoken moments before he was executed. 

11. “What the devil do you mean to sing to me, priest? You are out of tune.” – Jean-Philippe Rameau

The composer wasn’t happy with his final bedside vigil. 

12. “Tomorrow at sunrise I will no longer be here.” – Nostradamus

No one can ever say he didn’t predict the future after warning everyone of his impending death with his famous last words. 

13. “I should have never switched from Scotch to martinis.” – Humphrey Bogart

Bogart should never have changed drinks. 

14. “Nothing, only ‘love one another.’” – William Seward

The US secretary of state and architect of the Alaska Purchase just wanted everyone to spread the love. 

15. “Die? I should say not, dear fellow. No Barrymore would allow such a conventional thing to happen to him.” – John Barrymore

The notorious actor died from liver and kidney failure after years of alcohol abuse. 

16. “I love you very much, my dear Beaver.” – Jean-Paul Sartre

The philosopher said these words to his partner Simone de Beauvoir.

17. “I’m losing it.” – Frank Sinatra

Old blue eyes wasn’t right in the head during his final days. 

18. “I’m bored with it all.” – Winston Churchill

Considering he was 90 when he passed, it’s hard to disagree with the former world leader. 

19. “I don’t want the doctor’s death. I want to have my own freedom.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Poet Rilke just wanted to be free. 

20. “A certain butterfly is already on the wing.” – Vlidamir Nabokov

Even on his deathbed, entomologist Nabokov couldn’t stop talking about butterflies. 

21. “This is no way to live!” – Groucho Marx

The comedian couldn’t go without one final remark. 

22. “Money can’t buy life.” – Bob Marley

These are the final words Marley told his son Ziggy. Wise words. 

23. “No, doctor, nothing more.” – Thomas Jefferson

The third US President died from kidney complications stemming from a bout of pneumonia. 

24. “You are wonderful.” – Arthur Conan Doyle

Standing in the garden with his wife, Doyle said these words to her before clutching his chest and dying right there from a heart attack. 

25. “Swing low, sweet chariot.” – Harriet Tubman

As her family gathered around her and sang songs, Tubman said the words to the famous Christian hymn before passing. 

26. “One never knows the ending. One has to die to know exactly what happens after death, although Catholics have their hopes.” – Alfred Hitchcock

A storyteller until the very end. 

27. “Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough.” – Karl Marx

Nobody told Marx what to do. 

28. “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP.” – Leonard Nimoy

Best known for playing Spock in Star Trek, Nimoy had some rather philosophical words to say before the darkness took over. 

29. “It was a great game.” – Bing Crosby

Before a heart attack took his life on the golf course, Crosby related these words to those with him on the green. 

30. “What’s that? Do I look strange?” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Halfway through writing his final novel, Stevenson stepped into the kitchen one day after feeling a bit off and asked his wife if he looked “strange.” He died later that day.

31. “I’ll show you that it won’t shoot.” – Johnny Ace

After a concert in 1954, Ace was playing with a loaded gun when he said these words before shooting and killing himself accidentally. 

32. “Happy Anniversary. I love you.’ – Vince Lombardi

A gentleman until the very end. 

33. “Of course, I know who you are. You’re my girl. I love you.” – John Wayne

Wayne’s wife was afraid he didn’t know who she was on his deathbed, but he confirmed his love for her with these sweet words. 

34. “I won’t.” – Elvis Presley

After his girlfriend Ginger told him not to fall asleep on the toilet, Presley replied with these last words. 

35. “Damn it… Don’t you dare ask God to help me.” – Joan Crawford

As Crawford was close to the end her maid started praying for her and Crawford wouldn’t have a bar of it. 

36. “I must go in, the fog is rising.” – Emily Dickinson

The American poet died of Bright’s disease in 1886.

37. “It’s been a long time since I’ve had champagne.” – Anton Chekhov

The great Russian playwright and poet downed a glass of champagne before finally succumbing to tuberculous. 

38. “I see black light.” – Victor Hugo

The famous writer died four days after suffering a stroke. 

39. “Thomas Jefferson still survives.” – John Adams

Unfortunately he was wrong, as Thomas Jefferson had passed five hours earlier. 

40. “I’ve had 18 straight whiskies… I think that’s the record.” – Dylan Thomas

After a heavy night out, Thomas expressed his feelings with these famous last words before slipping into a coma and passing away. 

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