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The Famous Last Words of Famous People

Last words

Dying words are a very special form of quotation. Some are rehearsed and contrived; others are spontaneous and witty. Whatever the motivation or preparedness, 'famous last words' may be in the form of epitaphs, letters or even suicide notes, but are often impromptu sayings coined by and spoken by the dying person for the first (and, of course, last) time on their deathbed.

The list below gives us a glimpse into the character of the celebrated individuals who uttered their 'famous last words' before expiring.

Last Words - A Select List

John Quincy Adams
The final words of John Quincy Adams This, is the last of earth. I am content.
Sir Francis Bacon
The final words of Sir Francis Bacon For my name and memory, I leave it to men's charitable speeches, and to foreign nations, and the next ages.
Todd Beamer
(1968- 2001)
The final words of Todd Beamer Let's roll.
George Best
The final words of George Best Don't die like I did.
More on the last words of George Best...
Humphrey Bogart
The final words of Humphrey Bogart Goodbye Kid. Hurry back.
More on the last words of Humphrey Bogart...
(circa 563 BC - circa 483 BC) - Siddhattha Gautama
The final words of the Buddha Work hard to gain your own salvation.
Donald Campbell
The final words of Donald Campbell Hallo, the bow is up… I'm going… I'm on my back… I've gone. Oh.
King Charles II
The final words of King Charles II Let not poor Nelly starve.
Erskine Childers
The final words of Erskine Childers Take a step forward, lads. It will be easier that way.
Kurt Cobain
The last words of Kurt Cobain It's better to burn out than to fade away.
Oliver Cromwell
The final words of Oliver Cromwell My design is to make what haste I can to be gone.
Salvador Dali

The last words of Salvador Dali I do not believe in my death.
Diana, Princess of Wales
The final words of Diana, Princess of Wales My God. What's happened?

Isadora Duncan

The final words of Isadora Duncan Adieu, mes amis. Je vais à la gloire. (Farewell, my friends. I go to glory.)
King George V
The final words of King George V Bugger Bognor!
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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The final words of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Mehr Licht! (More light!)
Joe Hill
  I will die like a true-blue rebel. Don't waste any time in mourning - organize.
Henrik Ibsen
The last words of Henrik Ibsen On the contrary.
Michael Jackson
The final words of Michael Jackson I love you more
Stan Laurel
The final words of Stan Laurel I'd rather be skiing.
Hugh Latimer
(circa 1485–1555)
  Be of good comfort Master Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day light such a candle by God's grace in England, as (I trust) shall never be put out.
Robert E. Lee
  Strike the tent. (attributed)
John Lennon
The final words of John Lennon I'm shot.
Spike Milligan
The final words of Spike Milligan I told you I was ill.
Sir Thomas More
  This hath not offended the king.
Admiral Horatio Nelson
  Thank God, I have done my duty.
Captain Lawrence Oates
  I am just going outside and may be some time.
Barbara Olson
  What do I tell the pilot to do?
Lord Henry Temple Palmerston
  Die, my dear Doctor, that's the last thing I shall do!
Luciano Pavarotti

The final words of Lucianno Pavarotti I believe that a life lived for music is an existence spent wonderfully, and this is what I have dedicated my life to.
William Pitt
  I think I could eat one of Bellamy's veal pies. (attributed)
Pope John Paul II
  Let me go to the house of the Father.
Elvis Presley
(1935 - 1977)
The final words of Elvis Presley I hope I haven't bored you.
Sir Walter Raleigh
(circa 1552–1618)
  I have a long journey to take, and must bid the company farewell.
Cecil Rhodes
  So little done, so much to do.
Ken Saro-Wiwa
  Lord take my soul, but the struggle continues.
General John Sedgwick
The final words of General John Sedgwick They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance.
Gertrude Stein
  “What is the answer?” No answer came. She laughed and said, “In that case what is the question?”
Lytton Strachey
  If this is dying, then I don't think much of it.
Hunter S. Thompson
The final words of Hunter S. Thompson Relax - This won't hurt.
Oscar Wilde
  One of us must go. (attributed, probably apocryphal)
Ludwig Wittgenstein
  Tell them I've had a wonderful life.