Famous Last Words
Dying words spoken by famous people at death, or shortly before.
Death bed statements . . .
The deathbed can lead people to speak with great honesty and, in many cases, humor.
Famous People Last Words
Adams, John (1735-1826) "Thomas Jefferson--still survives..." (4 July 1826. Jefferson died on the same day.)
Addison, Joseph (1672-1719) "See in what peace a Christian can die."
Antoinette, Marie (1755-1793) "Farewell, my children, forever. I go to your Father."
Astor, Lady Nancy (1879-1964) "Jakie, is it my birthday or am I dying?" (Seeing all her children assembled at her bedside in her last illness.)
Baer, Max (1909-1959) [American boxer, Heavyweight Champion 1934-5] "Oh God, here I go..."
Barrymore, John (1882-1942) Die? I should say not, dear fellow. No Barrymore would allow such a conventional thing to happen to him.
Bass, Sam (1851-1878) [Texas Outlaw] "Let me go - The world is bobbing around me." (Also reported as "The room is jumping up and down" and "The world is a bubble - trouble wherever you go".)
Beaverbrook, Lord (1879-1964) "This is my final word. It is time for me to become an apprentice once more. I have not settled in which direction. But somewhere, sometime, soon." (The last public statement before his death, speech at Dorchester Hotel, 25 May 1964)
Beck, Martha ( -1951) [American murderess] "My story is a love story, but only those who are tortured by love can understand what I mean. I was pictured as a fat, unfeeling woman. True, I am fat, but if that is a crime, how many of my sex are guilty. I am not unfeeling, stupid or moronic. My last words and my last thoughts are: Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." (Before her execution.)
Becket, Thomas (c.1119-1179) "I am ready to die for my Lord, that in my blood the Church may obtain liberty and peace." (One version of his last words.)
Beecher, Henry Ward (1813-1887) "Now comes the mystery."
Beethoven, Ludwig van (1770-1827) "Friends applaud, the comedy is over." Beethoven's publisher's web site (www.schott-music.com) claims his secretary wrote that he said "Pity, Pity - too late!"
Bevan, Aneurin (1897-1960) "I want to live because there are a few things I want to do." (During his last illness.)
Bogart, Humphrey (1899-1957) "I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis." (Unverified -- attributed.) (A recent television biography of Bogart includes Lauren Bacall, his wife, saying that he was at home bedridden with cancer when she left the house briefly, maybe to do grocery shopping. "Hurry back", he said as she closed the door. When she returned he was dead.)
Brown, James (1933-2006) "I'm going away tonight." (Reported by his personal manager, Charles Bobbit, who said he was at Brown's bedside when he died, and added that Brown said the statement above, then took three long, quiet breaths, and closed his eyes.) Bouhours, Dominique [French grammarian] "I am about to--or I am going to--die; either expression is used."
Burbank, Luther (1849-1926) "I don't feel good."
Byron, Lord (1788-1824) "Goodnight."
Cavell, Edith Louisa (1865-1915) "Standing, as I do, in the view of God and eternity I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone." (To the chaplain who attended her before her execution by the Germans, 12 October 1915)
Chaplin, Charles (1889-1977) When the priest who was attending him at his bedsite said "May the Lord have mercy on your soul", Chaplin is reported to have replied "Why Not? After all, it belongs to him."
Charles I, King of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1600-1649) "Stay for the sign." (After the English Civil War, Charles was tried for treason, convicted, and sentenced to death. His last words were spoken to the executioner, waiting to behead him. He asked if he might be given a moment to pray, and then, when he gave the sign, the ax could fall.)
Charles II, King of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1630-1685) "I have been a most unconscionable time dying, but I beg you to excuse it." (Following the death of Cromwell, Charles I's son became King when the Stuarts were restored to the throne. Arts and Literatire thrived; Charles II was known as "The Merry Monarch".) Childers,
Robert Erskins (1870-1922) (Irish Nationalist, executed by an Irish Free State firing squad) "Take a step forward, lads. It will be easier that way."
Claudel, Paul (1868-1955) "Doctor, do you think it could have been the sausage?"
Cleveland, Grover (1837-1908) "I have tried so hard to do the right."
Costello, Lou (1906-1959) "That was the best ice-cream soda I ever tasted."
Coward, Noel (1899-1973) "Goodnight my darlings, I'll see you tomorrow." (On going to bed.)
Coy, Bernard ( -1946) [American criminal] "It don't matter; I figure I licked the Rock anyway." (After he was shot down attempting to escape from Alcatraz Prison)
Crane, Hart (1899-1932) "Goodbye, Everybody!" (Said when he committed suicide by jumping overboard during a steamship voyage.)
Crosby, Bing (1903-1977) "That was a great game of golf, fellers."
Crowley, Francis "Two Gun" (1900-1931) (American bank robber and murderer, before his execution in the electric chair) "You sons of bitches. Give my love to Mother."
Czolgosz, Leon (1873-1902) "I killed the president because he was the enemy of the good people, the good working people. I am not sorry for my crime." (Before his execution for the assassination of William McKinley.)
Danton, Georges-Jacques (1759-1794) "Thou wilt show my head to the people; it is worth showing." (To his executioner, 5 April 1794)
Dean, James (1931-1955) "My fun days are over." (Shortly before his fatal car crash.)
Dickinson, Emily (1830-1886) "... the fog is rising."
Eastman, George (1854-1932) "My work is done, why wait?" (His suicide note.)
Fillmore, Millard (1800-1874) "The nourishment is palatable."
Flynn, Errol (1909-1959) "I've had a hell of a lot of fun and I've enjoyed every minute of it." (Said shortly before his death.)
Fox, Charles James (1749-1806) "I die happy."
Gainsborough, Thomas (1727-1788) "We are all going to Heaven, and Vandyke is of the company." (Attributed last words.)
Gandhi, Indira (1917-1984) "I don't mind if my life goes in the service of the nation. If I die today every drop of my blood will invigorate the nation." (Said the night before she was assassinated by Sikh militants.)
Goldman, Charley ( -1970) [American boxing manager] "Only suckers get hit with right hands."
Gwenn, Edmund (1875-1959) "It is. But not as hard as farce." in _Time_ 30 January 1984 (On his deathbed, in reply to the comment `It must be very hard.')
Heine, Heinrich (1797-1856) "Dieu me pardonnera. C'est son metier." [God will pardon me. It is his trade.] (On his deathbed.)
Henry, O. (1862-1910) "Turn up the lights, I don't want to go home in the dark." (Quoting a popular song, 5 June 1910)
Housman, A. E. (1859-1936) "That is indeed very good. I shall have to repeat that on the Golden Floor!" (To his doctor, who told him a joke just before he died.) Chubbock, Christine "And now, in keeping with Channel 40's policy of always bringing you the latest in blood and guts, in living color, you're about to see another first--an attempted suicide." (just before she shot herself during a broadcast)
Huss, John (c.1369-1415) "O sancta simplicitas! [O holy simplicity!]" (On noticing a peasant adding a faggot to the pile at his execution.)
Jackson, Thomas Jonathan `Stonewall' (1824-1863) "Let us pass over the river and rest under the shade of the trees." (He had been inadvertedly shot by his own men.)
Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826) "Is it the Fourth?" (4 July 1826)
Jolson, Al (1886-1950) "This is it. I'm going. I'm going."
Kelly, Ned (1854-1880) [Australian folk hero and outlaw and legend]. "I suppose it had to come to this. Such is life." (As the hangman adjusted the hood to cover his face.)
Kennedy, John Fitzgerald (1917-1963) "If someone is going to kill me, they will kill me." (On arriving in Dallas, 1963)
Keynes, John Maynard (1883-1946) "I wish I'd drunk more champagne."
Lee, Robert Edward (1807-1870) "Strike the tent."
Lehar, Franz (1870-1948) "Now I have finished with all earthly business, and high time too. Yes, yes, my dear child, now comes death."
Lewis, Wyndham (1884-1957) "Mind your own business." (When his nurse asked him about the state of his bowels on his deathbed.)
Louis XIV (1638-1715) "Why are you weeping? Did you imagine that I was immortal?" (Noticing as he lay on his deathbed that his attendants were crying.)
Malcolm X (1925-1965) "Cool it, brothers..." (His last words before being assassinated.)
Marx, Karl (1818-1883) "Go on, get out. Last words are for fools who haven't said enough."
McLain, James ( -1970) [American criminal] "Take lots of pictures! We are the revolutionaries!" (Before being killed by the police, as he tried to shoot his way to freedom at his trial.)
Morant, Lt. Henry H. ("Breaker")(b. Edwin Henry Murrant) (1864-1902) [Australian Anglo-Boer War soldier and poet] "Shoot straight, you bastards! Don't make a mess of it!" (To the firing squad that executed him.)
Mohammad Ali Jinnah(1876-1948) "God save Pakistan"
Morgan, John Pierpont (1837-1913) "I've got to get to the top of the hill..."
Mussolini, Benito (1883-1945) "But, but, mister Colonel..." (Before being executed.)
Napoleon I (1769-1821) "Chief of the Army."
Narvaez, Ramon Maria (1800-1868) "I do not have to forgive my enemies, I have had them all shot." (Said on his deathbed, when asked by a priest if he forgave his enemies.)
Oates, Lawrence (1880-1912) "I am just going outside and may be some time." (Before leaving the tent and vanishing into the blizzard on the ill-fated Antarctic expedition (1910-1912). Oates was afraid that his lameness would slow down the others.)
Olivier, Laurence (1907-1989) "This isn't Hamlet, you know, it's not meant to go into the bloody ear." (To his nurse, who spilt water over him while trying to moisten his lips.)
Palmerston, Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount (1784-1865) "Die, my dear Doctor? That's the last thing I shall do!" (Attributed last words.)
Philby, St John ( -1960) "God, I'm bored."
Picasso, Pablo (1881-1973) "Drink to me."
Presley, Elvis (1935-1977) "I hope I haven't bored you." (Concluding what would be his last press conference.)
Raleigh, Sir Walter (1554-1618) "I have a long journey to take, and must bid the company farewell."
Rhodes, Cecil John (1853-1902) "So little done, so much to do."
Rodgers, James W. ( -1960) [American criminal] "Why yes, a bulletproof vest!" (On his final request before the firing squad.)
Roosevelt, Franklin Delano (1882-1945) "I have a terrific headache."
Roosevelt, Theodore (1858-1919) "Put out the light."
Rosenberg, Ethel (1918-1953) "We are the first victims of American fascism!" (Before her execution.)
Rosenberg, Julius (1918-1953) "We are innocent. That is the whole truth. To forsake this truth is to pay too high a price even for the priceless gift of life. For life thus purchased we could not live out in dignity." (Before his execution.)
Runyon, Damon (1884-1946) "You can keep the things of bronze and stone and give me one man to remember me just once a year." Saki (Hector Hugh Munro) (1870-1916) "Put that bloody cigarette out." (Just before being killed by a sniper, 14 November 1916)
Sanders, George (1906-1972) "Dear World, I am leaving you because I am bored. I am leaving you with your worries. Good luck." (His suicide note.)
Sedgwick, John (1813-1864) "Nonsense, they couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." (In response to a suggestion that he should not show himself over the parapet during the Battle of the Wilderness.)
Senna (Da Silva), Ayrton (1960-1994) [Formula One Race Driver] "The car seems OK..." [A few seconds later his steering column broke and he died when his car hit the wall.]
Shaw, George Bernard (1856-1950) "I want to sleep..."
Smith, Adam (1723-1790) "I believe we should adjourn this meeting to another place." Stein, Gertrude (1874-1946) "Just before she [Stein] died she asked, `What _is_ the answer?' No answer came. She laughed and said, `In that case what is the question?' Then she died."
Stevenson, Adlai E. (1900-1965) "I feel faint." (Before collapsing.) Thomas, Dylan (1914-1953) "I have just had eighteen whiskeys in a row. I do believe that is a record."
Thoreau, Henry David (1817-1862) `Have you made your peace with your God?' `I never quarreled with my God.' `But aren't you concerned about the next world?' `One world at a time.' (Discussion with his aunt on his deathbed)
Thurber, James (1894-1961) "God bless... God damn." Villa,
Francisco `Pancho' (1878-1923) "Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something."
Voltaire (1694-1778) "This is no time to make new enemies." (When asked on his deathbed to forswear Satan.)
Wallace, William (1270-1305, Scottish Patriot) "Freedom" [Ascribed to him in the film "Braveheart"; his actual last words, before being hanged, disembowelled, drawn and quartered, are unknown.]
Washington, George (1732-1799) "It is well, I die hard, but I am not afraid to go."
Webster, Daniel (1782-1852) "I still live."
Wells, Herbert George (1866-1946) "Go away... I'm allright."
Wilde, Oscar (1854-1900) "Either this wallpaper goes, or I do!" [The authenticity of this quote is complicated by his deathbed conversion back to Catholicism and the fact that a priest was with him up to the very end. Another deathbed quotation is also attributed to him: he asked for Champagne to sip as he died, and as he sipped, he is reported to have said: "Alas, I am dying beyond my means."] Emmett, Christopher Scott (1972-2008) "Tell my family and friends I love them, tell the governor he just lost my vote. Y'all hurry this along, I'm dying to get out of here." (Just before his execution in Virginia; he challenged the legality of lethal injections as cruel and unusual punishment, but a federal appeals court rejected his claims.)