When a famous person dies, one of the main things that people want to know is what their last words were, regardless of whether or not their death was something expected (because of sickness) or completely sudden. Either way, if someone is closeby, these last words seem to get etched in their memory; some even taking the time to write the words down. We here at BabbleTop have put together the Last Words of 15 World-Famous Icons. While some of these are almost too good to be true, they’re all sourced by many different publications. And you can’t forget that many people are famous because they love themselves and love entertaining the world, so of course that would extend to one of the most famous sentences a person can utter in their lifetime. These final words can be a window into a person’s soul and allude to any number of things: whether or not they’re happy, if they have any regrets, what their religious beliefs are, etc. So, strap in, enjoy and perhaps start to think of what you’d like your last words to be. Respond below or on our social media to let us know!
15. “Last Words are for Fools Who Haven’t Said Enough” – Karl Marx
Few people, ever, have had their words used to completely change the landscape of the world like those of Karl Marx (outside of us here at BabbleTop.com, just wait…). Perhaps aware of this (although the full extent Marxism wouldn’t be seen until decades after his death), the Prussian philosopher and economist had a great one liner waiting when he finally succumbed to a chronic respiratory ailment in March of 1883 and perished. While his quote is essentially a horrible way to start this list, it does show that Marx was a man who chose his words carefully and while he’d probably spin over in his grave if he knew how his words were twisted in the next century to found Leninism and Maoism, he’d be happy to know that his last words made countless best last words lists on capitalist websites. At least we’re not confusing him with Groucho, like other websites have.
14. “I Finally Get to See Marilyn” – Joe DiMaggio
There are few last words that will pluck at your heart strings like the final words of Yankee’s Baseball legend, Joe DiMaggio. For those that don’t know, he was briefly married to legendary bombshell Marilyn Monroe and was perhaps the love of her life. They eloped in January of 1954 and were married for only nine months, reportedly as Monroe’s lifestyle went against DiMaggio’s strict Catholic belief system (Including her tendency to sit around their house naked, which apparently angered god?). Things apparently came to a head after she filmed her famous upskirt scene in the film The Seven Year Itch and Monroe filed for divorce under the pretense of “Marital Cruelty”. The divorce had a huge impact on DiMaggio, who began going to therapy afterwards, stopped drinking and picked up new hobbies outside of baseball that would draw the two together again after the failure of her next marriage to writer Arthur Miller (Ironically, poetry was one of DiMaggio’s new hobbies). DiMaggio was the one to claim her body after her death from an apparent suicide in 1962. The saddest part was that it had been reported that DiMaggio was planning to ask Monroe to re-marry him shortly before she died. DiMaggio’s son had even spoken to her on the phone the night she died and said everything sounded “fine”. So, with that, it makes sense that his final thoughts were on the love of his life when he passed away over 30 years later in 1999.
13. “Money Can’t Buy Life” – Bob Marley
Bob Marley’s death from skin cancer in 1981 elevated the world-famous rock star to legendary status, after a decade of hits (both in the music industry and literal attempts on his life) Marley was thought to have the ability to sway an election one way or another on the island nation of Jamaica and was shot after he organized a concert with the then Prime Minister Michael Manley shortly before an election. While Marley was actually apolitical (not picking a side) in that election and actually attempting to stop the violence between the two warring political parties, it didn’t matter to his detractors and he was ambushed and shot multiple times inside his own home. Despite being shot in the arm and leg, Marley performed in the ‘Smile Jamaica’ concert, two days after the attempt on his life. While bullets could’n’t stop the Wailer, skin cancer under a nail on his big toe ended up taking him down; something that could’ve been fixed had he allowed doctors to remove it as they requested. However, Marley’s religious beliefs forbade him from amputating any part of his body, so instead his doctors attempted to cut out just the melanoma, which didn’t work. So, while Marley’s final words essentially imply that death is the great equalizer, perhaps he should’ve said “Yes” to his doctors.
12. “Pardon Me, I Didn’t Do It on Purpose” – Marie Antoinette
She may have told her starving countrymen to eat cake during a bread shortage but at least she had manners! The story goes that when the last young Queen of France was being lead on the guillotine before her execution during the French Revolution, she stepped on the executioners foot by accident and essentially apologized to the man who would seconds later cut off her head. One has to think that Antoinette was the influence for the catchphrase of the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland (Even if she’s more of a caricature of Queen Victoria of England) because of the way that she went out, which was after a short trial that even her enemies deemed was a sham. While she was a tone deaf leader, the things that she was found guilty for during her joke of a trial were essentially trumped up rumors that took advantage of the fact that she was the Archduchess of Austria during a time where French-Austrian relations were at a low. On top of that, she was supposedly responsible for wasting French money like no Queen before her, which created her nickname Madame Déficit (What’s French for Burn?). There were other, seedier accusations that lead to her being executed that aren’t fit to print, so when you hear what her last words were you had to think that she was at least innocent of a few of those things and that it broke the executioners heart to lop her head off in front of a crowd.
11. “You Will Not Find Me Alive at Sunrise” – Michel De Nostradamus
Michel De Nostradamus, better known as Nostradamus was a French physician and “seer” who made numerous prophecies over the course of his life that made him more famous after his death than during his life. So, it should come as little surprise that his final words came in the form of a prophecy that actually did come true. Suffering for most of his life from Gout that eventually turned into Edema/Dropsy (fluid in the legs), Nostradamus worked with his secretary to set his affairs in order as he knew he didn’t have long to live. His apparent last words predicted that he’d be dead by morning and while you’d think that someone would’ve stayed with him overnight just in case, he was found dead the following morning on the floor in his bedroom. From about as natural causes as you can consider something like Dropsy. Regardless of where you stand on anyone having the ability to predict the future, you have to admit, that’s impressive.
10. “I Will Hear in Heaven” – Beethoven
Perhaps the most famous composer of all time, Ludwig Van Beethoven spent most of his adult life without the ability to hear. That loss of hearing was attributed to a “fit” he threw after someone interrupted his work, which put him into a rage that caused him to fall over. When he arose, he could no longer hear and while he did regain some hearing not long after, it was mostly masked by a severe case of tinnitus. While modern medicine doesn’t attribute things like deafness to “fits” there is no 100% answer as to what caused him to become deaf. It’s thought that it was either an auto-immune disorder, a bad case of typhus or the fact that Beethoven used to dunk his head in freezing cold water to stay awake. Either way, the fact that he was unable to hear his masterpieces only contributed to his legend. Clearly, he understood music on such a level that needing to hear it didn’t matter, but it had to really wear on the guy. So, it should come as no surprise that his final words referenced the fact that he’d finally be able to hear his music again in Heaven.
9. “Don’t You Dare Ask God to Help Me!” – Joan Crawford
Joan Crawford is often considered one of the first Diva’s of Hollywood, if by Diva you mean someone with Bipolar Disorder that abused her children. So, while at the time of her death it was probably a surprise to her fans that she would’ve said something this angry and borderline blasphemous while dying, the book by her daughter Christine Crawford titled Mommy Dearest would go a long way towards explaining why she did say that. Despite the fact that she was world famous, lived in a fabulous mansion and is still considered one of the great actresses of her time, she apparently considered herself a victim and so she essentially was saying that if God had never helped her before why would she beg for his help now? So, while some of her children have come out to defend her against the allegations made in the book and subsequent movie Mommy Dearest this line sounds like the final words of someone who could never find happiness in her life or upon her death.
8. “How Were the Receipts Today from Madison Square Garden” – PT Barnum
The greatest showman on earth, PT Barnum, who was responsible for the creation of the Barnum and Bailey circus, died while doing what he loved best. Performing. He was in the middle of a show in April of 1890 when he suffered a stroke. While he didn’t die immediately, he did pass away shortly thereafter. Despite his failing health, he showed why he was so successful by still asking about the numbers they had received for the show in his absence, which alluded to a drive that few others have but those who build a business must have. While Barnum is much more famous for another quote, “There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute”, it’s this quote that best explained his personality and drive. It also shows why his circus was pretty much a year-round staple in the United States ever since his death, until it shut down after 146 years in operation on May 21st of this year.
7. “I Have Offended God and Mankind Because My Work did Not Reach the Quality it Should Have” – Leonardo Da Vinci
Speaking of final words that tell about the standards that the speaker held himself to (these standards were responsible for his success), comes a quote that would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad. There are few artists/people in the history of mankind who were as talented as Da Vinci. He was skilled at nearly every type of art (Painting, Sculpting, etc.) and science of his day, and created the most famous painting of all-time, the Mona Lisa. While some would argue that there has to be more behind Da Vinci’s final words as he was a founding member of the Illuminati(!), those people have just read far too many Dan Brown novels. The reality is that Da Vinci was as much a scientist as he was an artist and it was that combination of skills/knowledge that helped him live as he pleased and dominate the society he lived in. The term for someone like Da Vinci is actually ‘Polymath’, which essentially means someone who excels at more than one thing. Considering that he was known for his contributions in the fields of invention, painting, sculpting, architecture, science, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, writing, history, and cartography and his final words begin to make sense. Often times genius’ are their own biggest critics, and considering the fact that Da Vinci was one of the most intelligent human beings ever, he was clearly one of the biggest critics (of himself) in the history of the world as well.
6. “It is Tasteless to Prolong Life Artificially. I Have Done my Share, It’s Time to go. I will do it Elegantly” – Albert Einstein
Few men are considered on the same level, when it comes to intelligence, as Leonardo Da Vinci. However, Albert Einstein is one of those men. Considering how analytical Einstein was and the fact that he had relied on surgery in the past to reinforce the abdominal aortic aneurysm that ended up killing him, his final words could be considered surprising since analytical thinkers often look for ways to utilize technology to improve or prolong their lives. However, Einstein essentially knew it was time to go and ended up passing away at Princeton Hospital at the age of 76, in 1955. Einstein’s work is still being analyzed to this day. And because of the gravity (pun!) of his work, he continued to work right up until his death completely changing the field of physics forever. Even as we become more advanced technologically (and thus capable of testing his theories), Einstein’s theorems simply become more and more true. His final words showed that he was also a classy individual and that surprised some that knew him. Robert Oppenheimer, a fellow physicists who worked with Einstein on the Manhattan Project said that Einstein was “Almost wholly without sophistication and wholly without worldliness … There was always with him a wonderful purity at once childlike and profoundly stubborn.”, so the fact that he entered into the after-life without a fight and with the wisdom of a man who had seen it all, was definitely the final surprise.
5. “I Should’ve Never Switched From Scotch to Martini’s” – Humphrey Bogart
Legendary Actor Humphrey Bogart knew that his time on earth was limited when he called for his wife and children to surround his bed-side in early 1957. He was dying of esophageal cancer, something that he clearly contributed to the fact that he switched from Scotch to Martini’s at some point in his life but was probably much more due to the fact that he was a heavy drinker for much of his adult life. Perhaps he thought it was the vermouth that did it? Bogart was a three time Oscar nominee and was called the best actor of all time by The American Film Institute recently. So, considering the fact that he only lived to be 57 years old, one has to think that he left a lot of good roles on the table. Either way, it looks like he wishes he had left alcohol on the table as well, but always the classy “Man’s Man” of movies, he of course couldn’t turn down a good scotch, so instead he blamed it on the the mixed drinks that only a sissy would enjoy, even if that sissy is James Bond himself.
4. “I Know You Have Come to Kill Me, Shoot Coward, You Are Only Going to Kill One Man” – Che Guevara
Che Guevara, the favorite of every left leaning college student (‘s wardrobe) everywhere when it comes to fashionable liberalism, was a follower of another member of this list, Karl Marx. He was a revolutionary from Argentina that ended up as a major figure in the Cuban Revolution alongside Fidel Castro and his brother, Raul. Together, those three were a major part of the 26th of July Movement, which eventually overthrew the Dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in Cuba. Because he was assassinated a lot of people assume that he never lived to see Castro take over Cuba, that’s actually not what happened. He survived beyond Castro’s ascension to leader (or one would argue Dictator) of Cuba and ended up going around the world as a military theorist to aide in other rebellions that he felt were worth of his time/beliefs. There are a few theories as to who ended up helping the Bolivian army/CIA find Guevara in Bolivia in 1967. What is known is that Felix Rodriguez, a Cuban-exile turned CIA operative, advised Bolivian troops in their search for Guevara. Some say that a former Nazi named Klaus Barbie also assisted in his hunt and capture. Either way, he couldn’t have ended up with a more bad-ass set of final words if he tried. If Guevara knew that his face it was this that would end up plastered on the T-Shirts and posters of college freshman everywhere (thanks to capitalism), he probably would’ve chosen a different profession or at least last words that stated simply “Say no to T-Shirts, Bro!”
3. “F%$^ You!” – Tupac Shakur
Speaking of bad ass final words and even of South American revolutionaries, Tupac Amaru Shakur was the biggest star in Rap Music in the mid-90’s. The son of a former Black Panther, he was named after a former (obviously) Inca chief and the name of multiple Communist Guerilla Groups in Peru in the 20th Century. Shakur, ever the anti-authority figure, had been shot five times in 1994 in what was reported as a robbery gone wrong but that would eventually lead to the loss of his life and the life of fellow rapper the Notorious BIG in 1996 and 1997, respectively. It was directly after that first shooting that Shakur was famously photographed flipping the bird to a photographer, so it shouldn’t come as a gigantic surprise that he reacted in a similar fashion when he was shot the second time after attending the Mike Tyson vs. Bruce Seldon Boxing match in Las Vegas in September of 1996. According to one of the police officers that pulled over the bullet-riddled BMW of Shakur and former Death Row Records head-honcho, Suge Knight, as Shakur was laying on the ground, mortally wounded thanks to a bullet that collapsed his right lung, he responded with the above after the police officer asked him who was responsible for his shooting. Talk about Thug Life!
2. “A Dying Man Can Do Nothing Easily” – Benjamin Franklin
The biggest horn-dog of all of the Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, spent a lot of his time in France as to not offend the sensabilities of the much more religious America he helped found. It’s perhaps because of his love for everyone of France’s/life’s vices that made it surprising that he lived to the ripe old age of 84. His love of food and wine lead to obesity that plagued him for much of his adult life, and his love of women that could’ve ended his life as well, as there was no cure for syphilis back then (perhaps that’s why he was experimenting with lightening?). Like another member of this list, Nostrodamus, that obesity lead to gout that worsened as he got older. It was because of that worsening health that he was rarely seen in public during his final years; he was even relatively sick during the signing of the Declaration of Independence. What ended up killing him was Pleuritis, an inflammation of the mucus membranes of the chest cavity. When his daughter attempted to tell him to move in his bed so he could breathe easier, he muttered his final words and went out like a boss.
1. “Oh Wow. Oh Wow. Oh Wow.” – Steve Jobs
Depending on your belief in the afterlife, one could interpret the final words of Apple Computer founder Steve Jobs in any number of ways. For those that believe in life after death or who fear death, it’s easy to see that perhaps Jobs was witnessing life after death and was thus reacting to it by uttering the only words that came to mind at the time. Regardless, though, the death of perhaps the most famous and endeared CEO in world history came way too soon. Like Bob Marley, his death was entirely avoidable as well, although for different reasons. Unlike Marley’s religious beliefs, Jobs believed that he could correct his pancreatic cancer with alternative medicine. While pancreatic cancer is considered one of the most lethal forms of the deadly disease, Jobs originally lucked out by contracting a version that was highly curable if caught early, which his was. Instead of undergoing the suggested chemotherapy, he spent nine months undergoing acupuncture, drinking fruit juices and visiting spiritualists. That nine months proved to be too many and he ended up dying at the age of 56. In his final days,he did show remorse for not undergoing chemotherapy sooner, and like many others on this list continued working right up until his death, as well. After saying goodbye to his family, he looked beyond them and uttered the above phrase three times. Maybe he was seeing Ashton Kutcher play him?