“They Couldn’t Hit An Elephant At This Distance.” That was the last thing that Union General John Sedgwick ever said before being shot to death by Confederate troops.
Ever thought about what your last words will be? Whether you’re as well spoken as Shakespeare or a monosyllabic slob, the last thing you ever say will surely be poignant. In many instances, people’s last words become something that resonates with those who remember them. Not everyone has the luxury of knowing when they will say the last thing they ever say, but others get one last opportunity to remind people of who they were.
Many famous dead people are known not just for their careers but also for the profound, shocking and sometimes downright funny things they said just before dying. Here are some of the most famous last words and the stories behind them:
Steve Jobs, Apple CEO.
“Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.”
These words might sound strange, but in context they are touching. Jobs was looking at his children and long term partner when he made these exclamations. He then lost consciousness, never to wake again. Tragically, Steve Jobs’ death at the age of 56 appears to have been completely avoidable. He had the only treatable form of pancreatic cancer, but he decided to rely on alternative medicine, which did not cure him the way he expected.
Source: The Telegraph
Groucho Marx, Comedian.
“Die my dear? Why, that’s the last thing I’ll do!”
Groucho Marx was one of the wittiest comedians of all time, so it’s apt that his last words were as ironic as his humor. Marx was 86 when he died and had lived a hugely successful life. Interestingly, his grave contains no message. Perhaps those he left behind thought that nothing would top these last words.
Source: The Mob Museum
Charles “Lucky” Luciano, Mob Leader.
“Tell Georgie I want to get in the movies one way or another.”
The mobster said this to a movie producer moments before his luck finally ran out and he had a heart attack. To date, actors have played Luciano in over a dozen movies, meaning that his last wish came true.
Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the U.K.
“I’m so bored with it all.”
Seeing as Winston Churchill had led a hugely successful life, winning the biggest war in history, serving as UK prime minister twice, winning the Nobel Prize in literature and a whole host of other achievements, these words may sound strange. However, there was a much darker side to Winston Churchill than many ever saw publicly. He suffered from depression throughout his entire life, which he called “the black dog.” By the time of his death, he had also suffered from 10 different strokes and was mostly deaf.
Salvador Dali, Surrealist Painter.
“Where is my clock?”
This one is debated, but if it’s true, it is apt. Salvador Dali’s most famous painting is The Persistence of Memory, which is known by many as “the melting clock picture.” Dali’s last years were difficult. His wife of 49 years tragically died in 1983, and he made several suicide attempts. Eventually, he would die of heart failure in 1989.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Roger Ebert, Film Critic.
“See you at the movies.”
The famous film critic had actually lost the ability to speak many years before his death. Therefore, most people cite his last published article before dying as his last words. For someone who spent so much of his life in movie theaters, these words had a strong resonance.
Frank Sinatra, Singer.
“I’m losing it.”
When the musical legend died, he was with his wife in the hospital. She encouraged him to fight off the effects of his heart attack. “I’m losing it” was his reply. Sinatra was also suffering from dementia at the time of his death, meaning that his words had even more poignancy.
Source: The Guardian
James Brown, Singer.
“I’m going away tonight.”
James Brown died of a heart attack on Christmas Day in 2006. These were his words on Christmas morning. It seems that he realized how severe his heart attack was. A sad end for a musical great.
Source: Margaret Sanger
Margaret Sanger, Birth Control Activist.
“A party! Let’s have a party.”
The last words of Margaret Sanger may seem odd, but her lifelong battle for birth control for women had finally achieved success shortly before her death. Sanger had opened the US’ first birth control clinic in 1916 and founded Planned Parenthood in the 1950s, but birth control was only legalized throughout the US a year before she died.
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