Famous last words throughout history


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The average person speaks around 860,341,500 words in one lifetime— the equivalent of the entire text of the complete 20-volume “Oxford English Dictionary (OED).” Some of these words are life-changing, others mundane, and some will be the last we say.

There is something about the final words a person says in the face of the grim reaper that we tend to romanticize and cling to.

Whether it’s a witty quip, a bitter scolding, or a piece of wisdom, our last words sometimes remain like ghosts after we leave the stage of life.

Here is a roundup of some iconic final words said by famous people.

Winston Churchill

” I am so bored with it all.”

Said by: Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)

The British Prime Minister was talking with his son-in-law Christopher Soames who had offered him champagne. Shortly after, he fell into a coma and died at the age of 90 in his London home.

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Joe DiMaggio

“I finally get to see Marilyn again.”

Said by: Joe DiMaggio (1914-1999)

According to the book “Joe and Marilyn: Legends in Love,” before he passed away in 1999 at the age of 84, the famous baseball player expressed his desire to reunite with his one true love, Marilyn Monroe, in the afterlife.

Frida Kahlo

“I hope the exit is joyful, and hope never to return.”

Said by: Frida Kahlo (1907–1954)

This was the last entry in the Mexican painter’s diary. After suffering from excruciating pain her entire life, Frida Kahlo died at age 47 at her home in Mexico.

Karl Marx

“Go on, get out! Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough.”

Said by: Karl Marx (1818-1883)

Before succumbing to a bout of bronchitis in 1883, Karl Marx replied to his housekeeper who asked him what his last words were.

Jack Daniel

“One last drink, please.”

Said by: Jack Daniel (1849- 1911)

These were the last words of the famous whiskey distiller, who died from blood poisoning on Oct. 10, 1911.

T.S Eliot


Said by: T.S. Eliot (1888 – 1965)

In his dying breath, the Nobel prize-winning poet T. S. Eliot uttered the name of his wife Valerie before he died of emphysema at his home in Kensington, London, in 1965.

Arthur Conan Doyle

“You are wonderful.”

Said by: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859- 1930)

As he sat in his garden, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle spoke these heartwarming words to his wife before clutching his chest and dying at age 71.

Ernest Hemingway

“Goodnight my kitten.”

Said by: Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)

The American writer bid his wife Mary farewell before shooting himself at his home in Ketchum in 1961.

George Harrison

“Love one another.”

Said by: George Harrison (1943-2001)

“The quiet Beatle” succumbed to lung cancer in 2001 after leaving behind one final message of love to his wife and kids.

Groucho Marx
Marie Antoinette

12. “Pardon me sir, I did not do it on purpose.”

Said by: Marie Antoinette (1755-1793)

On her way to the guillotine, the deposed French queen apologized to her executioner on the scaffold. She had accidentally stepped on his foot.

Richard Harris

13. “It was the food!”

Said by: Richard Harris (1930-2002)




The iconic British actor trolled diners at the Savoy hotel while being taken out of the building on a stretcher shortly before he died of cancer.

Bob Hope
Public domain

14. “Surprise me.”

Said by: Bob Hope (1903-2003)

American entertainer and actor Bob Hope who died at age 100, replied to his wife’s question about where he wanted to be buried.

Patrick Swayze

“I love you.”

Said by: Patrick Swayze (1952-2009)

Shortly before losing his longtime battle with cancer, the legendary actor said these heartwarming words to his wife.

Steve Jobs

“Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.”

Said by: Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

Steve Jobs’ last words were actually very simple but powerful. Before succumbing to respiratory arrest caused by a pancreatic tumor, the Apple Inc. co-founder uttered, “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.”

Frank Sinatra
William P. Gottlieb Collection/Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons

“I am losing.”

Said by: Frank Sinatra (1915-1998)

Before “Ol’ Blue Eyes” died from a heart attack at the age of 82, he said this to his wife Barbara who was encouraging him to fight.

Humphrey Bogart

“Goodbye, kid. Hurry back.”

Said by: Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957)

Humphrey Bogart said goodbye to his wife, Lauren Becall, who had to leave the house to pick up their kids. These would be the last words the Hollywood icon ever spoke. He died at age 57 from esophagus cancer.

Joseph Wright


Said by: Joseph Wright (1734- 1797)

It’s not a surprise this is the last word of Wright. He was a linguist who edited the “English Dialect Dictionary.”

Jean-Paul Sartre

“I love you very much, my dear Beaver.”

Said by: Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980)

The French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre said this to his partner Simone de Beauvoir, shortly before he died in his Paris home from pulmonary edema in 1980.

John Wayne

“Of course I know who you are. You’re my girl. I love you.”

Said by: John Wayne (1907-1979)

This was John Wayne’s response to his daughter Alisa, who had asked him if he knew who she was. Shortly after, “The Duke” took his last breath on June 11, 1979, surrounded by his family.

Truman Capote
Eric Koch / Anefo/Wikimedia Commons

“Mama— Mama— Mama.”

Said by: Truman Capote (1924-1984)

Truman Capote died on Aug. 25, 1984, of a painkiller overdose at the L.A. home of an old friend, Johnny Carson’s ex-wife Joanne. As he was dying, he mumbled “Mama, Mama, Mama.”

Emily Dickinson

“I must go in, for the fog is rising.”

Said by: Emily Dickinson (1838-1886)

Ever a poet, Emily Dickinson’s final words were no different than her poetry when she passed away at 55 from heart failure.



Vladimir Lenin

“Good dog.”

Said by: Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924)

Technically, Vladimir Ilych Lenin’s final words were “Vot sobaka”— speaking to a dog that had brought him a dead bird. The leader of the October Revolution died in Gorki, aged 53, after falling into a coma.

Josephine Baker

“Oh, you young people act like old men. You are no fun.”

Said by: Josephine Baker (1906-1975)

Josephine Baker was all about fun. She was everything: a dancer, singer, actor, writer, and activist. Unsurprisingly, in her final hours, the iconic entertainer complained about the new generations not having enough fun when leaving a party in her honor. She died of a massive stroke in her sleep at 68.

Donald O'Connor

“I’d like to thank the Academy for my lifetime achievement award that I will eventually get.”

Said by: Donald O’Connor (1925-2003)

On his deathbed, the legendary comedian said goodbye to his family with one last quip. The “Singin’ in the Rain” star died on Sept. 27, 2003, at the age of 78, and has yet to receive this honorary award.

Napoleon Bonaparte
Wiki Commons

“France, army, the head of the army, Josephine.”

Said by: Napoléon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

Napoleon died in 1821, in exile on the remote island of Saint Helena, and his last recorded words were “France, armée, tête d’armée, Joséphine.”

Bob Marley

“Money can’t buy life.”

Said by: Bob Marley (1945-1981)

Bob Marley shared these words of wisdom with his son Ziggy Marley soon before he died at the Cedars Of Lebanon Hospital in Miami at age 36 after losing his battle with skin cancer.

Charlie Chaplin

“Why not, after all, it belongs to him. “

Said by: Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977)

“The Tramp” said this on his deathbed at the age of 88, after a priest who was reading his last rites said, “May the Lord have mercy on your soul.”

James Brown
Heinrich Klaffs / Wikimedia Commons

“I’m going away tonight.”

Said by: James Brown (1928-2006)

James Brown told longtime manager Charles Bobbit, “I’m going away tonight,” before succumbing to congestive heart failure on Christmas morning in 2006.