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Dying Words: Last Words Spoken By Famous People At Death

Updated November 5, 2019 29.8k votes 4.4k voters 735.3k views115 items

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Dying words of famous people seem to be a little bit more poetic than the typical dying utterances of the common folk. Whether they've got the money and influence to be afforded the time to gather their thoughts, or because they're just plain cooler than many of us, there exist some memorable dying words from some very famous people. 

Granted, in order to record someone's final words, there has to be some normality and/or convenience to the person's death; for the most part, you'll not find any of these famous historical figures on the list of bizarre deaths from the 19th or even the 20th century. These notable historical figures died in bed, or in battle, or were somehow able to get their dying thoughts across to someone for recording on a list of last words of famous people.

What are some of the most memorable last words from famous people? What are the best dying words ever recorded? Some of the most notable last words of historical figures are recorded here on this list of famous final words. Make sure to upvote your favorites!
  • "Either that wallpaper goes, or I do."

    Oscar Wilde, writer
    Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish poet and playwright. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. He is best remembered for his epigrams and plays, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, and the circumstances of his criminal conviction for "gross indecency", imprisonment, and early death at age 46. Wilde's parents were successful Anglo-Irish intellectuals in Dublin. Their son became fluent in French and German early in life. At university, Wilde read Greats; he proved himself to be an outstanding classicist, first at Trinity College Dublin, then at Oxford....  more
    • Age: Dec. at 46 (1854-1900)
    • Birthplace: Ireland, Ireland, Europe, Dublin
    • Profession: Poet, Journalist, Writer, Playwright
    • Cause Of Death: Meningitis
    • Credits: Dorian Gray, An Ideal Husband, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Selfish Giant
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  • "That was the best ice-cream soda I ever tasted."

    Lou Costello, comedian

    Louis Francis Cristillo (March 6, 1906 – March 3, 1959), professionally known as Lou Costello, was an American actor, best known for his film comedy double act with straight man Bud Abbott and their comedy routine "Who's on First?" The comedians, who teamed up in burlesque in 1936, were among the most popular and highest-paid entertainers in the world during World War II. In 1942 they sold $85 million in war bonds in 35 days. By 1955 their popularity waned due to overexposure and their film and television contracts lapsed. The partnership ended soon afterwards....  more
    • Age: Dec. at 53 (1906-1959)
    • Birthplace: Paterson, New Jersey, United States of America
    • Profession: Businessperson, Comedian, Film Producer, Actor, Vaudeville Performer
    • Cause Of Death: Myocardial infarction
    • Credits: The Abbott and Costello Show, Africa Screams, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Jack and the Beanstalk
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  • "I'm bored with it all."

    Winston Churchill, statesman
    Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British politician, army officer, and writer. He was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, when he led Britain to victory in the Second World War, and again from 1951 to 1955. Churchill represented five constituencies during his career as a Member of Parliament (MP). Ideologically an economic liberal and imperialist, for most of his career he was a member of the Conservative Party, which he led from 1940 to 1955, but from 1904 to 1924 was a member of the Liberal Party. Of mixed English and American parentage, Churchill was born in Oxfordshire to a wealthy, aristocratic family. Joining the...  more
    • Age: Dec. at 91 (1874-1965)
    • Birthplace: Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Statesman, Painter, Politician, Journalist, Orator
    • Cause Of Death: Stroke
    • Credits: Young Winston, Churchill's People, The First World War, The Finest Hours
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  • Leonardo da Vinci
    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    "I have offended God and mankind because my work didn't reach the quality it should have."

    Leonardo da Vinci, artist
    Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian polymath, painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived. His genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man, a man of "unquenchable curiosity" and "feverishly inventive imagination". According to art historian Helen Gardner, the scope and depth of his interests were without precedent and "his mind and...  more
    • Age: Dec. at 67 (1452-1519)
    • Birthplace: Vinci, Italy
    • Profession: Military Engineer, Musician, Scientist, Inventor, Architect
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