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"Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something."
—Apocryphal quote attributed to Pancho Villa

Full description is at Famous Last Words. Since this is Real Life we're talking about, spoilers probably aren't an issue. Also see this exhaustive list from Wikiquote.


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    A-B 
  • "No comment." — Edward Abbey, after being asked if he had any last words.
  • "Thomas Jefferson survives." — John Adams. Unknown to him (or indeed to anyone outside Virginia), he was wrong — Jefferson had died only a few hours before — he's also on this page.
  • "See in what peace a Christian can die!" — Joseph Addison, to his stepson.
  • "Our destiny is to build a better future for our countries, a safe future for our children. We have to give them something better than what we inherited." — Hafez al-Assad, President of Syria, according to this.
  • "Ein kuss" ("a kiss") — Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband, who by then was far too sick to be able to put together a coherent sentence.
  • "Is it not meningitis?" — Louisa May Alcott. It wasn't. (It was a stroke.)
  • "Tô krasistô" (Τῷ κρατίστῳ, "To the strongest") — Alexander the Great, in response to the fervent question from those around him: "To whom will the Empire go?" Civil war ensued. However, it's not universally accepted that this is what he said; some historians believe that his final fever rendered him speechless, and others believe he actually said, "To Craterus", naming a specific general of hisnote  — his other generals just conveniently misheard him.
  • "You be good. See you tomorrow. I love you." — Alex, the African grey parrot whose life and work with Dr. Irene Pepperberg proved that talking birds know what they are saying and are capable of learning abstract concepts. The laboratory staff found him dead the next morning. He was thirty-one.note 
  • "I was killed." — Last diary entry of an anonymous Union soldier killed at Cold Harbor, Virginia.
  • "I'm in no pain. No pain. Don't cry for me, Rahaman. I'm going to be with Allah. I made peace with God, I'm okay. Rahaman, how do I look?" — Muhammad Ali, speaking to his brother.
  • "These are my last words, and I am certain that my sacrifice will not be in vain, I am certain that, at the very least, it will be a moral lesson that will punish felony, cowardice, and treason." — Salvador Allende, President of Chile, in what's probably the longest single sentence on this page.
  • "I shall return after 100 years and take my revenge." — Amakusa Shiro Tokisada, Japanese Christian Rebel Leader, pivotal player of the Shimabara Rebellion, before being beheaded.
  • "My troubles are all over. And I am home." — Cleveland Amory, Caustic Critic and devout animal rights activist, quoting the final words of Anna Sewall's Black Beauty.
  • "Even in Heaven, I shall work for my country. When the exclamation of Korean independence reaches the Heavens, I shall dance in delight, crying, 'Long live Korea!'." — An Jung-Geun, Korean independence activist and devout Catholic, who assassinated Hirobumi Ito, the Japanese politician who effectively annexed Korea. His wish came true 36 years later.
  • "My friend, you will come second to me once again." — Jacques Anquetil, five-time Tour de France champion, to his longtime competitor Raymond Poulidor.
  • "Well, gentlemen, you are about to see a baked Appel!" — George Appel, Jewish-American gangster, executed in electric chair.
  • "Mē mou tous kyklous taratte!" (Μή μου τοὺς κύκλους τάραττε, "Do not disturb my circles!") — Archimedes, to a Roman soldier who interrupted him as he was working. The solider mistakenly thought the old man was messing with his head and stabbed him to death. General Marcellus, the leader of the Roman attack on Syracuse, is said to have been enraged, as he considered capturing Archimedes alive one of his top priorities.
  • "Acta est fabula, plaudite!" ("The play is finished, applaud!") — Augustus, Emperor of Rome.
  • "Oh God, here I go." — Max Baer Sr.
  • "Codeine... bourbon... " — Tallulah Bankhead, American stage and film actress and party animal. Some accounts say that this was in response to her nurse asking her if she wanted anything.
  • "I'm glad to sit on the back row, for I would rather be a servant in the House of the Lord than to sit in the seats of the mighty." — Alben Barkley, who served in both houses of the US Congress before becoming Vice President under Harry Truman, ended his speech at the 1956 Washington and Lee Mock Conventionnote  with these words. He collapsed and died from a heart attack seconds later.Background 
  • "Is everybody happy? I want everybody to be happy. I know I'm happy!" — Ethel Barrymore, American state and film actress, after suffering a heart attack.
  • "Let me go, let me go!" — Clara Barton, school teacher, nurse, medical innovator, and founder of the American Red Cross. She died of tuberculosis at 91.
  • "Now we can cross the Shifting Sands." — L. Frank Baum, creator of the Land of Oz books. The Shifting Sands refer to the enchanted desert that cut Munchkinland off from the the rest of the world.
  • "Are you guys ready? Let's roll." — Todd Beamer, passenger on United 93 on September 11, 2001. He and his fellow passengers stormed the cockpit and forced the terrorists to crash the plane short of its target in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It's not known if these were actually Beamer's last words, but they're the last words of his picked up by the aircraft's recorders.
  • "In the name of Christ and the protection of the Church, I am ready to embrace death." — Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, on his assassination in 1170 by four knights of Henry II in response to a particularly deadly Rhetorical Question Blunder.
  • « De grâce, monsieur le bourreau, encore un petit moment ! » ("Please, Mr. Executioner, just one more minute!") — Jeanne Bécu, Countess du Barry, former mistress of King Louis XV, on her execution during The French Revolution. It is said that her terrified pleading so upset the crowd that much support and enthusiasm behind the Great Terror was lost, and executions petered out shortly afterward.
  • "Now comes the mystery!" — Henry Ward Beecher, brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe; a "rock star" preacher, social reformer, and notoriously scandalous ladies' man.
  • "Applaudite, amici, la commedia è finita." ("Applaud, friends, the comedy is over.") — Ludwig van Beethoven, referencing Augustus.
  • "No..." — Alexander Graham Bell, in sign language, in response to his deaf wife pleading, "Please Don't Leave Me". He died soon after.
  • "Don't turn on the light." — Osama bin Laden, shortly after midnight on May 1, 2011, after the noise of the SEAL team that would shoot him had awakened the residents of his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The source for that quote is the book Manhunt by James Swanson. Al Jazeera's account of the raid has bin Laden telling the others to leave and reciting from the Koran in the minutes before the American soldiers entered.
  • « Vive la France ! » ("Long Live France!") — Marc Bloch, French historian and La Résistance leader during the German occupation, right before being shot to death by an execution squad.
  • "Bye, kid. Hurry back." — Humphrey Bogart, to his wife Lauren Bacall. When she did get back, he was unconscious. He's more associated with the apocryphal line, "I should never have switched from scotch to martinis."
  • « France, armée, tête d'armée, Joséphine. » ("France, army, head of the army, Joséphine.") — Napoleon Bonaparte. Joséphine de Beauharnais was Napoleon's wife, who had died seven years earlier.
  • "¿Quién es?! ¿Quién es?!" ("Who is it?! Who is it?!") — William H. Bonney, a.k.a. Billy the Kid, who was shot not in a Showdown at High Noon, but in the dark in an ambush. He wanted to know who shot him, if only because he had a lot of enemies by then. (It was Sheriff Pat Garrett.)
  • "Useless, useless..." — John Wilkes Booth, assassin of Abraham Lincoln, at his execution. He asked to be shown his hands. He had previously said, "Tell my mother I did it for my country."
  • "How do you expect me to make a living?" — Mohamed Bouazizi, a Tunisian street vendor who had his cart confiscated by the authorities and proceeded to set himself on fire in front of the governor's office in protest. His death became the lynchpin for The Arab Spring protests which brought down several authoritarian regimes in the Arab world, but escalated into bloody and long civil wars in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen.
  • « Je vais — ou je vas — mourir, l'un et l'autre se dit ou se disent. » ("I am about to — or I am going to — die; either expression is correct.") — Dominique Bouhours, French grammarian, with a delightfully snarky last sentence.
  • "It is no shame to stand upon the scaffold. This is nothing but political revenge. I have served my Fatherland as others before me—" — Dr. Karl Brandt, German physician, Schutzstaffel (SS) officer in Nazi Germany, and the Nazi war criminal who administered the Aktion T4 euthanasia programs. His speech was cut short when the black hood given to all hanged criminals was placed over his head.
  • "Moth... moth..." — Laura Bridgman, the first deaf-blind person to receive an education, spelled this over and over on her deathbed. Her friend Sarah Smith spelled back "Mother?" and she nodded and relaxed. She died three hours later.
  • "Push on, brave York Volunteers!", or possibly "Push on, don't mind me!" or "Surgite!" — Sir Isaac Brock, Canadian war hero, after being mortally wounded in the War of 1812. Then again, it's not certain that he said anything. In any event, "Surgite" ("Push on" in Latin) became the motto of Brock University.
  • "Courage, Charlotte! Courage!" — Anne Brontë, youngest sister of Charlotte, dying of tuberculosis in a hotel room in Scarborough. She is buried there, within sight of her beloved North Sea.
  • "In all my life I have done nothing either great or good." — Branwell Bronte, brother of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne. History has proven him wrong; his writing is finally becoming recognized for its own merit.
  • "Oh, I am not going to die, am I? He will not separate us. We have been so happy!" — Charlotte Brontë to her husband Rev. Arthur Bell Nichols. She and her unborn child died of severe morning sickness a few minutes later.
  • "If you will send for a doctor, I will see him now!" — Emily Brontë, who had resisted doctors or any form of medical treatment during her last illness.
  • "I'm the problem." — David Burke, to the pilots of Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771, before shooting them and killing everyone aboard the plane, including himself.
  • "I love you, too." — George H. W. Bush, 41st President of the United States, to his son George W. Bush, the 43rd President.
  • "Now I shall go to sleep. Good night." — Lord Byron, who is alternatively credited with the line, "My sister— my wife— my daughter! You must say all. You know my wishes." The latter is from the account of his friends at his bedside, who claim there were his last coherent words.

    C-D 
  • Julius Caesar's last words are disputed:
    • The best-known version is that he said "Καὶ σύ, τέκνον" (Kai su, teknon? Gr. "You too, my son?"), said to Brutus.
    • Suetonius says he said nothing and simply died.
    • It's pretty well established that he said "Why, this is violence!" when he saw the knives coming out — the Senate was supposed to be a place of calm and orderly debate and violence of any sort was very much frowned upon. What's less certain is whether or not he said anything else after that.
  • "Adhuc vivo...!" ("I still live!") — attributed to Caligula, as he was stabbed to death.
  • "I will pray to God in a language we both well understand." — Edmund Campion, English Jesuit and Roman Catholic martyr, when told by Protestant onlookers to pray in English rather than Latin. (When asked for whom he was praying, he replied, "Yea, for Elizabeth, your queen and my queen, unto whom I wish a long quiet reign with all prosperity.") He was then hanged, cut down while still alive, his penis cut off, his entrails pulled out of his body and burned, and his body at last hacked into four parts.
  • "Al menos apunten al lugar donde colocaré mi mano." ("Then at least aim at the spot where I'll place my hand.") — Jose Miguel Carrera, hero of the Chilean War of Independence. Carrera had asked to give the order to the firing squad that was about to shoot him, but they turned him down, so he said this.
  • "Doro, I'm thirsty... Doro, they hurt me again... Doro, I can't get my breath." Enrico Caruso, legendary opera tenor, to his wife Dorothy Benjamin. Doctors have speculated on Caruso's final illness for decades; his son eventually revealed that it was kidney failure caused by an onstage injury.
  • "Trăiască Republica Socialistă România, liberă și independentă!" ("Long live the Socialist Republic of Romania, free and independent!") — Nicolae Ceauşescu, longtime dictator of Romania, at his execution shortly after his summary trial in 1989. His wife Elena was executed as well; her last words were supposedly, "Can it be that the firing squad is still in use in Romania?" (It was.)
  • "We have a bad fire! We're burning up!" — astronaut Roger Chaffee, trapped inside the Apollo 1 spacecraft as it caught fire during a ground test.
  • "I love you all. Forgive me." — Lon Chaney, speaking to his family in sign language, as he'd lost his voice to bronchial cancer.
  • « Putain, vous êtes vraiment cons. » ("Fuck, you really are morons.") — attributed to Stéphane Charbonnier, a.k.a. Charb, editor-in-chief of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, as he was executed by terrorists. His friend, Charlie Hebdo artist Cabu, opted for another form of last words.
  • "I go from a corruptible to an incorruptible crown; where no disturbance can be, no disturbance in the world." — King Charles I of England, at the end of a lengthy speech before his execution. His actual last words were to the axeman, about the chopping block ("You must set it fast... It might have been a little higher") and when to make the stroke ("When I put out my hands this way, then... Stay for the sign.")
  • "Don't let my little Nellie starve." — Charles II of England, on the subject of his favourite concubine, Nell Gwynne.note  Somewhat earlier, he is said to have apologized to his courtiers: "I regret, gentlemen, that I should be such an unconscionable long time dying."
  • "No quiero morir. No me dejen morir." ("I don't want to die. Please, don't let me die.") — Hugo Chávez, president of Venezuela.
  • "Arriba — siempre arriba." ("Higher — ever higher.") — Jorge Chavez, a Franco-Peruvian who was the first man to fly over the Alps, and suffered mortal injuries while trying to land on that flight. This phrase is the motto of the Peruvian Air Force.
  • "It has been a long time since I tasted champagne." — Anton Chekhov. He was dying of tuberculosis, and the doctor gave him a sip of champagne in an effort to help him breathe.
  • "The issue is now clear. It is between light and darkness, and everyone must choose his side." — G. K. Chesterton, on the eve of World War II. His actual last words were "Hello, my dear," to his secretary Dorothy Collins, who had just entered the room.
  • "Take a step forward lads, it'll be easier that way." — Robert Erskine Childers, Irish nationalist, who before being executed by a firing squad, took the time to shake their hands and offer them these words of advice.
  • "In keeping with Channel 40's policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts and in living color, you are going to see another first — attempted suicide." — Christine Chubbuck, news anchor, just before shooting herself in the head on live television.
  • "Goodbye. If we meet..." — Samuel Langhorne Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain, to his daughter Clara.
  • "I have tried so hard to do right." — Grover Cleveland, former President of the United States.
  • "Absolutely not!" — Montgomery Clift, after his secretary asked if he wanted to watch his film The Misfits, which was playing that night. He proceeded to his bedroom, where he suffered a fatal heart attack brought on by his drug problems.
  • "...it's better to burn out than to fade away." — last sentence of Kurt Cobain's suicide note. Neil Young, who had been trying to contact Cobain to counsel him about drugs and performance burnout, later said he felt Cobain's note with his lyric "fucked" with him on a deep level.
  • "Hold up the train. Ammunition ship afire in harbor making for Pier 6 and will explode. Guess this will be my last message. Good-bye boys." — Vince Coleman, train dispatcher at Richmond, Nova Scotia, just before the Halifax Explosion. He and a co-worker actually left the station, but Coleman turned back to send more warning messages to stop inbound trains. They did stop in time.
  • "No reprisals, lads." — attributed to Michael Collins, head of the Irish Free State Army, after having been shot by a sniper in the Irish Civil War.
  • "Hê Polis alisketai kai egô zô eti." (Ἡ Πόλις ἁλίσκεται καὶ ἐγὼ ζῶ ἔτι, "The City is fallen, but I am alive.") — Constantine XI Palaeologous, the last emperor of the Byzantine Empire. He then tore the Imperial insignia from his armor and charged into the fray. His body was never identified, and he was in all likelihood buried in a mass grave along with his men. So ended the last Emperor of Rome.
  • "Have a good life, son. Cor. I know I have. It was fantastic." — the father of stand-up comic Jason Cook, whose subsequent show and tour was named "Joy" and dedicated to his late father in honour of those last words.
  • "More weight." — Giles Corey, being tried by crushing ordeal for witchcraft in Salem, when asked if he would confess to his "crime". He was not just being a badass; he knew that if he died under interrogation, he was still legally a Christian and his sons could inherit his property. Confessing would spare his life, but he would no longer be considered a Christian and his property would be forfeit. Denying the charges would result in his conviction and execution, as the trials were flagrantly rigged, and again his property would be forfeit. So, by refusing to enter any plea at all, he saved his family from poverty and earned a Dying Moment of Awesome.
  • "OH GOD! OH—" — Kevin Cosgrove, who died in the collapse of the South Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 — notable only in the sense that they were recorded.
  • "Dammit... don't you dare ask God to help me." — Joan Crawford, when her housekeeper began to pray aloud.
  • "Father, it is no use to depend upon me; I am going to die." — Crazy Horse, the great Lakotah warrior and holy man, one of those who led the fight against the 7th Cavalry at the Greasy Grass in the Battle of Little Big Horn. He had thought he was surrendering in good faith, then realized they were going to imprison him and was stabbed as he tried to escape.
  • "Hurrah boys, we've got them! We'll finish them up and then go home to our station." — the last message of George Armstrong Custer to the rest of his regiment, before he and all of the other soliders with him died at the Battle of Little Big Horn. His actual last words are unknown, but the old joke goes that they were "Where the hell did all those goddamn Indians come from?!"
  • "I am sorry I could not see my father." — Leon Czolgosz, assassin of William McKinley.
  • "You know, I'm not frightened. It's just that I will miss you all so much." — acclaimed writed Roald Dahl. Or at least it should have been; after he said this, he appeared to fall unconscious, and it was decided to give him a lethal dose of morphine to ease his passing. But when the nurse injected him, he opened his eyes and muttered, "Ow, fuck!" And those were his last words.
  • "I don't care if I live or die. Go ahead and kill me." — Jeffrey Dahmer, notorious Serial Killer, to his fellow prison inmates who killed him.
  • « La journée sera rude. » ("The day will be hard") — Robert-François Damiens, before his execution for attempting to assassinate King Louis XV of France. The execution involved torture with red hot pincers, molten lead, and having his limbs torn off with horses, and burning his still living torso at the stake.
  • "One last drink, please." — Jack Daniels, who incidentally died from sepsis caused by a broken toe, which he'd broken trying to kick open the safe holding his whiskey recipes. (He was drunk at the time.)
  • « Tu montreras ma tête au peuple, elle en vaut la peine ! » ("You should show the people my head. It's worth the trouble!") — Georges Jacques Danton, en route to the guillotine. Danton had a famously large and ugly face.
  • "Too late now." — Henry Darger, speaking to a friend who told him, "Henry, your paintings are beautiful." He had just seen some of Henry's illustrations for his massive fantasy novel In the Realms of the Unreal which he had given to his landlord, fellow artist Nathan Lerner, upon moving to a nursing home.
  • "This is a final stroke of misfortune; that I should accept a service from you and not be able to return it. But Alexander will reward you for your kindness and the gods will repay him for his courtesy towards my mother and my wife and my children." — Darius III of Persia, Worthy Opponent of Alexander the Great (also on this page), after one of Alexander's men had given him a last drink of water.
  • "I am not in the least afraid to die." — Charles Darwin, according to his daughter, dispelling the popular myth that he recanted the theory of evolution on his deathbed.
  • "I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have." — Leonardo da Vinci
  • "I feel a pain right here." — Charles de Gaulle
  • « Enfants de la Patrie, vous vengerez ma mort! » ("Children of the Motherland, you will avenge my death!") — Olympe de Gouges, feminist and abolitionist, before her decapitation during the Terror of The French Revolution.
  • "He'll see us." - James Dean. The other driver, who was making a left turn across Dean's right of way, didn't.
  • "I did not know that any man could suffer such pain!" — Stephen Decatur, U.S. naval legend, who had been shot in a duel a few hours prior.
  • "Miss, I got what I really went for!" — Jeremy Delle, the inspiration behind Pearl Jam's "Jeremy". He was asked to get an attendance slip from the school office for being late, then returned with a Magnum revolver and shot himself in front of the class.
  • "I'll finally get to see Marilyn." — Joe DiMaggio
  • Walt Disney simply wrote down Kurt Russell's name before his death. No one, including Russell, has any idea what it means. It is known that during the last few days of Walt's life, he was feverishly scribbling down notes about projects he wanted to pursue, particularly the Florida Project (which would later become Walt Disney World). Kurt Russell was a child actor signed to Walt's studio at the time, so it's probable Walt was thinking of some future film for which Russell would have been perfect.
  • "No, it is better not. She will only ask me to take a message to Albert." — Benjamin Disraeli, when asked if he wished to receive Queen Victoria at his deathbed.
  • "You are wonderful." — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, to his wife. Doubles as a Heartwarming Moment.
  • "Farewell, friends, I go to love!" — dancer Isadora Duncan, just before getting in her car to go home. Her long flowing scarf got tangled in the rear wheel, pulled her out of the car, and snapped her neck.
  • "Don't, don't, don't! This could hurt someone!" — R. Budd Dwyer, Pennsylvania State Treasurer, warning away people trying to stop him just before shooting himself on live television.

    E-G 
  • "Okay, just wondering." — Dale Earnhardt Sr., NASCAR legend, in his final known radio communication (with his Rolex 24 teammate Andy Pilgrim) during the 2001 Daytona 500. He was killed in a crash on the final lap of the race.
  • "We are on the line 157 337. We will repeat this message. We will repeat this on 6210 kilocycles. Wait... We are running on line north and south." — Amelia Earhart, in her last official transmission before her disappearance. Dozens of other messages from her were heard and logged after this. Dismissed as bogus at the time, about half of them have now been proven real.
  • Rapper Eazy-E came up a long last official statement before he tragically died of AIDS:
    Eazy-E: I may not seem like a guy you would pick to preach a sermon. But I feel it is now time to testify because I do have folks who care about me hearing all kinds of stuff about what's up." "Yeah, I was a brother on the streets of Compton doing a lot of things most people look down on — but it did pay off. Then we started rapping about real stuff that shook up the LAPD and the FBI. But we got our message across big time, and everyone in America started paying attention to the boys in the 'hood." "Soon our anger and hope got everyone riled up. There were great rewards for me personally, like fancy cars, gorgeous women and good living. Like real non-stop excitement. I'm not religious, but wrong or right, that's me." "I'm not saying this because I'm looking for a soft cushion wherever I'm heading, I just feel that I've got thousands and thousands of young fans that have to learn about what's real when it comes to AIDS. Like the others before me, I would like to turn my own problem into something good that will reach out to all my homeboys and their kin. Because I want to save their asses before it's too late. I'm not looking to blame anyone except myself. I have learned in the last week that this thing is real, and it doesn't discriminate. It affects everyone. My girl Tomika and I have been together for four years and we recently got married. She's good, she's kind and a wonderful mother. We have a lttle boy who's a year old. Before Tomika I had other women. I have seven children by six different mothers. Maybe success was too good to me. I love all my kids and always took care of them." "Now I'm in the biggest fight of my life, and it ain't easy. But I want to say much love to those who have been down to me. And thanks for your support." Just remember : "It's YOUR real time and YOUR real life".
  • "So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I'll see you at the movies." — Roger Ebert, popular movie critic, in the last sentences of the final blog post before he died of cancer two days later. Ebert had lost his jaw to the cancer shortly before, rendering him unable to talk.
  • "It is beautiful over there...." — Thomas Edison, said as he looked toward an open window.
  • "Yes, I have heard of it. I am very glad." — Edward VII, on being asked if he'd heard that his horse, Witch of the Air, had won at Kempton Park.
  • "Theo. Ich habe keine Munition mehr. Ich werde diesen da rammen. Auf wiedersehen — wir sehen uns in Walhalla!" ("Theo, I'm out of ammo. I'm going to ram this one. Goodbye — we'll see each other in Valhalla!") — Heinrich Ehrler, Luftwaffe Ace Pilot, to his wingman on how he planned to take down the last of three bombers they were fighting. Ehrler had been court-martialed and sentenced to death for failing to protect the battleship Tirpitz from British bombers, but he was allowed to keep fighting for the time being due to his talent as a fighter ace. By the time he died, on April 4, 1945, Ehrler was psychologically broken and the war was basically lost.
  • "Long live Germany. Long live Argentina. Long live Austria. These are the three countries with which I have been most connected and which I will not forget. I greet my wife, my family and my friends. I am ready. We'll meet again soon, as is the fate of all men. I die believing in God." — Adolf Eichmann, Nazi leader and war criminal, before being executed in 1962.
  • "Citater fra—" — Albert Einstein's last written words, at the end of a paragraph on Mutually Assured Destruction in an essay he was writing. His actual last words were in German, and the only witness didn't speak the language, so no one knows what he said; scientists like to joke about whether it was crucial to his great work or something completely trivial.
  • "Was ist eigentlich mit mir geschehen!?" ("My god, what has happened to me!?") — Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary, a.k.a. Sisi. Her assassin knocked her down as she was trying to board a ship, and nobody noticed at the time that he had stabbed her in the chest with a sharpened file, in part because Sisi's tight corset kept the blood down. She fainted shortly after boarding the ship and promptly died of internal bleeding.
  • "All my possessions for one moment of time." — attributed (although not universally) to Elizabeth I of England, who died several days later but lost her voice after this line.
  • "Then I am going!" — Eng of the Conjoined Twins Chang and Eng Bunker, better known as the "Siamese Twins." While Eng was in good health for their age (62), Chang's health had been deteriorating since he had suffered a stroke in 1870 that had partially paralyzed him. In January of 1874, after having traveled through blistering cold weather to spend the weekend at Eng's house, Chang developed difficulty breathing and later died in his sleep. When one of Eng's sons woke Eng up and informed him of such, Eng elected not to be separated from him and himself died a few hours later.
  • "Executioner, strike home!" — the Earl of Essex.
  • "I've never felt better." — Douglas Fairbanks Sr., after having a heart attack, just before his death.
  • "Please Don't Leave Me. Please don't leave me." — Chris Farley, to a hooker whom he had brought to his hotel room to do drugs with him. Farley collapsed soon after this line, but she kept on going. Farley would soon die of what turned out to be a drug overdose.
  • "I'd hate to die twice. It's so boring." — Richard Feynman, quantum physicist, Nobel laureate, and bongo player, in response to being told he had two different terminal cancers. His last recorded words were him singing a silly song about orange juice.
  • "God damn the whole friggin' world and everyone in it but you, Carlotta." — W.C. Fields, speaking to his dear friend Carlotta Monti. He managed to avert it at the very moment of his passing; in the early morning of Christmas Day 1946, a nurse came to open his window; he woke, smiled at her, put a "shh" finger to his lips and died.
  • "Smrt fašizmu, sloboda narodu!" ("Death to fascism, freedom to the people!") — Stjepan Filipovic, member of the Yugoslavian National Liberation Army, who shouted these words as he was about to be hanged. As a plus, he defiantly raised his arms in a mix of a Crucified Hero Shot and Communist clenched fist salute; the gesture was caught in a now very famous photo.
  • "The nourishment is palatable." — attributed to Millard Fillmore, former President of the United States, but likely apocryphal. The line actually comes from Fillmore's obituary where he was indirectly quoted as saying this;note  it's fairly likely he phrased it better himself.
  • "If any of you have a message for the devil, tell me now, for I will be seeing him soon." — Lavinia Fisher
  • "Storm ended, sea calm. God is over all." — The final entry in the logbook of the Flannan Isles Lighthouse on December 15th, 1900, made before the disappearance of the three lighthouse keepers stationed there: Thomas Marshall, James Ducat, and Donald McArthur. The lighthouse stopped working that day, and eleven days later a relief vessel found all three men missing. No trace of them was ever found, and no one is certain what happened to them. One theory is that they were swept to sea by a rogue wave while outside securing equipment during a storm (which would have been a serious breach of regulations as it would have left the lighthouse unattended). The other theory is that McArthur, who had been acting strangely and whose raincoat was found inside the lighthouse, killed the other two and himself in a Murder-Suicide.
  • "I am sorry to trouble you chaps. I don't know how you get along so fast with the traffic on the roads these days." — British author Ian Fleming, most famous for creating the James Bond franchise, talking to his ambulance crew as they transported him to a hospital after he suffered what turned out to be a fatal heart attack.
  • "I've had a hell of a lot of fun, and I've enjoyed every minute of it." — Errol Flynn, the man who embodied Flynning.
  • "You can stop now; I'm already dead." — Abigail Folger, heiress, civil rights worker, and victim of the Manson Family, after being stabbed repeatedly.
  • "Sopherl! Sopherl! Sterbe nicht! Bleib' am Leben für unsere Kinder! Es ist gar nichts... es ist gar nichts..." ("Sophie! Sophie! Don't die! Live for our children! It is nothing... It is nothing...") — Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary, to his wife Sophie. She did not live. (Interestingly, the other people in the car were unaware that Sophie had also been shot until after they stopped the car. Ferdinand knew, though.)
  • « La montagne est passée, nous irons mieux. » ("The mountains are passed; now we are going better.") — Frederick the Great of Prussia, whose last words had to be in French because he despised nearly everything German.
  • "Send him home, we won't be needing him." — Frederik IX of Denmark, as he was carried to a waiting ambulance after suffering a massive heart attack, to a servant responsible for answering the phone and receiving messages for the King.
  • "How's this for your headline? 'French Fries!'" — James French, a murderer, executed by electric chair.
  • "Soon, Mother of mine. Mary, Mother of Grace, Mother of Kindness, protect me from the Enemy and take me in during my last hours... Jesus, Joseph and Mary... my... soul shall... expire with you...!" — Francesco Possenti, a.k.a. Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Catholic Saint and visionary.
  • "Don't kill me, my sons!", or "What did I do to you?", depending on the source — Muammar Gaddafi, longtime dictator of Libya, as he was executed by a bunch of rebels in 2011.
  • "Dear Mother of mine, I think I'll be meeting up with Jesus soon. Please tell Him to have mercy on my humble soul!" — Saint Gemma Carolina Galgani, Catholic saint and visionary. She was staring at a small statue of the Virgin Mary in her bedroom, and her last words were directed to it.note 
  • "Don't cry, Alfred! I need all my courage to die at twenty." — mathematician Évariste Galois, to his little brother, after being shot in the stomach in a duel.
  • "I can't breathe." — Eric Garner, to a New York City police officer who arrested him for selling single cigarettes on the street. The officer had put Garner in an illegal chokehold that proved fatal; the officer was never indicted and in fact promoted to a high-paying desk job. Garner's final words became a rallying cry for African Americans and others demanding police reform.
  • "God damn you." — King George V of England, as revealed by his doctor's diary. The doctor, hoping to give the King a more dignified death than dying slowly and painfully from lung disease, gave him a lethal injection of cocaine and morphine.note  The King evidently did not agree.
  • "You are a liar! I am no more a witch than you are a wizard, and if you take away my life God will give you blood to drink." — Sarah Good, one of many accused and convicted of witchcraft during the Salem With Trials, to Rev. Nicholas Noyes II, at his insistence that she admit to being a witch on the day of her execution. For what it's worth, twenty-five years later, Noyes died of a hemorrhage and literally did choke on his own blood as he died.
  • "Mehr licht!" ("More light!") — attributed to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. A joke goes that he actually was simply lying uncomfortably and was trying to say, in a rather heavy local accent, "Mer licht hier so schlecht." ("It's quite uncomfortable lying here.")
  • "The sadness will last forever." — Vincent van Gogh, to his brother Theo, just before dying of a (maybe not so) self-inflicted gunshot wound.
  • "I'll be all right. I'll see a doctor when we get back to Los Angeles." — Cary Grant, to his wife. He wasn't. His wife called the hotel doctor who found Grant was suffering a massive stroke. He refused to be taken to a hospital and died with his wife by his side.
  • "Schnell!" ("Fast!") — Irma Grese, Nazi war criminal and supposed inspiration for Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS, right before she was hanged for her crimes.
  • "Lord! Into thy hands I commend my spirit!" — Lady Jane Grey, before being beheaded.
  • « J'en foutre, j'en foutre... » (Fr. — "Fuck it, fuck it...") — Alexander Griboyedov, Russian classic writer and diplomat, Ambassador to Iran, as his embassy was overrun by knife-wielding religious fanatics whom we today would probably classify as terrorists. His last words are in French because that was the language spoken by the Russian nobility (the Russian language was considered too barbaric). It's also very bad (and nonsensical) French, unless he was saying "Jean-foutres! Jean-foutres!" (something like "Phonies! Phonies!"), in which case it's just poor transcription.
  • "¡Póngase sereno, y apunte bien! ¡Va a matar a un hombre!" ("Straighten up and aim well! You are only going to kill a man!") — attributed to Che Guevara. This is the most popular, but there are several possible alternatives, some of which are the same thing but longerfor example  others of which are less dignified (like "I'm Che Guevara — I'm worth more to you alive!"). The movie Che just has him say, "Shoot. Do it!"
  • "Glory hallelujah! Glory hallelujah! I am with the Lord." — Charles Guiteau, assassin of James Garfield, at his execution. These were the final two lines of an entire poem he recited at the scaffold. He had asked for an orchestra to accompany the recitation, but they drew the line there. A hundred years later, Stephen Sondheim eventually obliged him by using some lines from the poem as lyrics in Assassins.
  • "Nobody shot me." — Frank Gusenberg, after being shot by members of Al Capone's gang during the St. Valentine's Day massacre.
  • "Jag är så sömnig; och jag vill försöka vila mig litet grann." ("I feel so sleepy, and I want to try to rest a bit.") — Gustav III of Sweden. Understandable, since he'd just spent nearly two weeks dying of complications from a gunshot wound.

    H-K 
  • "I only regret that I have but one life to give my country" — Nathan Hale, during The American Revolution, before being hanged as a spy by the British. Unfortunately, while the line is famous in American history,note  it's probably not exactly what he said; but the exact speech, although lost, so impressed the British witnesses that several of them saw fit to write about it. One possibility is that he was quoting Joseph Addison's Cato:
    How beautiful is death, when earn'd by virtue!
    Who would not be that youth? What pity is it
    That we can die but once to serve our country.
  • « Va-t-en, Satan! » ("Away from me, Satan!") — Jacques Hamel, a French priest and martyr murdered by ISIS terrorists in the Normandy church attack in 2016.
  • "Now let the Romans bring an end to all their fears, with the death of a feeble old man." — Hannibal
  • "That's good, read some more." — Warren Harding
  • "One, two, three!" — Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the perpetrators of the Columbine massacre, who shot themselves in the school library.
  • "Love one another." — George Harrison
  • « Bien sûr, il me pardonnera; c'est son métier. » ("Of course He [God] will forgive me; that's His job.") — Heinrich Heine
  • "The others, they were the real bastards. You were the only legitimate one." — Henry II, first Plantagenet King of England, to his illegitimate son Geoffrey, the only one of his sons to be by his side as he died. This was because his legitimate sons were either fighting against him or had already died in that cause.
  • "Maybe I'm dying." — attributed to Jim Henson, as he finally agreed to go to the hospital after weeks of illness.
  • "The world is just a barrel-organ which the Lord God turns Himself / We all have to dance to the tune which is already on the drum." — SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich
  • "I've said all I've had to say." — comedian Bill Hicks. He didn't die until eleven days later, but he voluntarily quit speaking after saying this.
  • "Dilexi justitiam et odivi iniquitatem: propterea morior in exilio." ("I have loved righteousness and hated iniquity, and therefore I die in exile.") — Hildebrand/Pope Gregory VII, in a parody of Psalm 44 (45), 7.
  • "Don't waste any time mourning. Organize!" — Joe Hill, labor activist and I.W.W. member, before being executed for a crime it is now generally believed he didn't commit.
  • "Ich bin Heinrich Himmler!" ("I am Heinrich Himmler!") — Heinrich Himmler, who was trying to escape the Allies and was carrying false identity papers, finally revealing his true identity during a procedure interrogation at a British camp. They were about to give him a medical examination (as was standard with prisoners of war) when Himmler refused to open his mouth and chewed on a cyanide pill hidden in his teeth.
  • "Capitalism. Downfall." — Christopher Hitchens
  • There are two versions of the last lines of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnamese Communist revolutionary:
    • From the partially released last will and testament upon his death in 1969: "But who can guess how much longer I can serve the revolution, serve the homeland, and serve the people? Thus I leave you these few words, in case I should join Karl Marx, Lenin, and my predecessors in revolution, so my countrymen, Party comrades, and friends everywhere shall not feel it so sudden."
    • From the full version: "My last wish is: Our entire Party, our entire people shall be as one in striving to build a peaceful, united, independent, democratic, strong and prosperous, contributing our fair part in the enterprise of world revolution."
  • "The citadel is irretrievably lost. I am ashamed to face the gentlemen of the Northern city. My own death is of no consequence.pre I am prepared to follow Nguyễn Tri Phương to the grave. Your Majesty is leagues away, we weep tears of blood for you..." — Hoàng Diệu, Viceroy of Hanoi, in a suicide note written in blood to his king, before he hanged himself to avoid capture at the hands of the French.
  • "Ach, wie schießt ihr schlecht!" ("Oh, your aim is horrible!") — Andreas Hofer, Austrian freedom fighter in Tyrol against Napoleon's Bavarian puppet regime. It took two salvos of a firing squad and a shot to the head to kill him.
  • "That dirty son of a bitch Tony Jocks set this meeting up, and he's an hour and a half late." — Jimmy Hoffa, notorious American gangster and teamster union leader. Hoffa had fallen on hard times, and had gone to meet with two other Mafia leaders, Anthony Giacalone and Anthony Provenzano, in the hopes of winning their support and regain power. Everyone, including Hoffa himself, suspected that the meeting was a pretext to have him killed, but with Provenzano making physical threats against Hoffa and his family and Hoffa desperate to regain his standing lest Provenzano make good his threats, he went to the meeting anyways in the hopes that it was an actual peace meeting. Apparently, when he arrived at the meeting spot, no one was there, and Jimmy made a call first to his wife and then to his old friend Louis Linteau, telling Linteau the above quote. Linteau calmed Hoffa down and told him to stop by his office on the way home, but Hoffa never made it that far, disappearing from the parking lot some time after 3:30pm. The generally accepted consensus is that he was indeed murdered by the Mafia leaders due to his rise to power being seen as a threat to their control of the union's pension fund.
  • "Surprise me." — Bob Hope, when asked on his deathbed where he wanted to be buried. He was laid to rest in the Bob Hope Memorial Garden at San Fernando Mission Cemetery.
  • "Texas! Texas! Margaret..." — Sam Houston, leader of the Texas Revolution and first president of the Republic of Texas, later deposed as governor during the state's secession. He carried his love for both his wife and his state to his deathbed.
  • "Roger, bu-" — Rick Husband, commander of the Space Shuttle Columbia, in response to a call from Mission Control stating that they hadn't copied the last message. Seconds later, Columbia was tumbling out of control and all radio contact was lost. Shortly thereafter, Columbia disintegrated in Earth's atmosphere, killing all on board.
  • "I swear that there is no god but God, and Muhammad--" — Saddam Hussein. They didn't even let him finish. Alternatively: "Down with the traitors, the Americans, the spies, and the Persians!"
  • "Tvertimod!" ("To the contrary!") — Henrik Ibsen, Norwegian author and political activist, while dying of tuberculosis, in response to his doctor telling his wife that "he looks a bit better today". He died immediately afterward. It's said he didn't even open his eyes in response, although a different account suggests that he stood up in bed and shouted the line.
  • "Aloha." — U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye
  • "Please, please, give me some milk so that I can sleep." — Michael Jackson, requesting a dose of the surgical anesthetic propofol (which physically resembles milk) as a sleeping aid. In 1984, Jackson suffered severe burns to the scalp while filming a Pepsi commercial, due to a pyrotechnic rig firing off prematurely; the injury left him unable to sleep without the use of sedatives, a dependency that worsened as the years went on. Jackson's personal physician in 2009, Conrad Murray, attempted to wean Jackson off of them, but was unable to do so before Jackson's This is It series of comeback concerts were scheduled to begin; Murray would end up giving Jackson a lethal overdose by mistake, and was convicted of involunary manslaughter in 2011.
  • "Order A.P. Hill to prepare for action! Pass the infantry to the front rapidly! Tell Major Hawks—" before stopping and leaving the sentence unfinished. Then with an expression of relief: "Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees." — Confederate General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson. Jackson had been shot in the arm by friendly fire at the Battle of Chancellorsville. The arm had to be amputated. Jackson then caught pneumonia and died eight days later.
  • « Je meurs : amenez-moi un cure-dent. » ("I am dying; please bring me a toothpick.") — Alfred Jarry, an absurdist writer who lived as absurdly as he wrote. A doctor would later explain that the request was not as strange as it seemed at first glance, as Jarry died of dehydration induced by drugs, alcohol, and tuberculosis, and dehydration makes your gums itch.
  • "Is it the Fourth...?" — Thomas Jefferson. Indeed it was — it was July 4, 1826, exactly fifty years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson's predecessor John Adams died only a few hours later (and in his last words, up the page, incorrectly declared "Thomas Jefferson lives"), and James Monroe also died on the Fourth of July some years later.
  • "Jesus, Jesus!" — Joan of Arc, burned at the stake for heresy (well, actually for leading the French army to victory over the English occupying forces at the age of seventeen, but also heresy).
  • "Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow." — Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc. Verified by his sister, who was at his bedside at the time of his death.
  • "With God's help it will never be that a Bohemian king would run from a fight!" — John the Blind, King of Bohemia
  • "I will see you tomorrow, if God wills it." — Pope John Paul I. God didn't will it; the "Smiling Pope" had been in office just 34 days.
  • "Pozwólcie mi iść do domu Ojca." ("Let me go into the house of the Father.") — Pope John Paul II, in his native Polish. Archbishop Leonardo Sandri addressed his death hours later with the same words: "Our most beloved Holy Father has returned to the House of the Father. Pray for him."
  • "We sure fooled them a long time, didn't we?" — William Henry Johnson, a.k.a. "Zip the What-Is-It", one of the most famous sideshow performers, who may have been an actual microcephalic — or as they would call him back then, a "pinhead". Or he may have just been a guy with a weirdly-shaped head. His last words have been cited as evidence of the latter, including by his sister, who always claimed her brother was smarter than he let on.
  • "Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!" — David A. Johnston, geologist, in his final radio transmission before he was killed in the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980.note 
  • "Yes, and I fear seriously." — Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston, at the Battle of Shiloh, after he nearly fainted in the saddle and an aide asked if he'd been wounded. Johnston was bleeding profusely from a bullet wound to the back of his knee that he was either ignoring or didn't notice.
  • "Jump, Sim, jump!" — Locomotive engineer Casey Jones (yes, the one from the Disney short) to his fireman shortly before his locomotive collided with a stalled freight train on the tracks ahead. Sim did jump (though he was knocked out by the impact) but Casey stayed in the cab to apply full brakes and full reverse power in order to slow it before the collision. The train had originally been moving at a blistering 75 mph (due to an earlier delay, Casey's train was running behind and they had been trying to make up lost time), but by the time of impact, Jones had managed to get the speed down to only 35 mph when his engine plowed into the stalled cars. Casey was the only fatality, and it is often said that when his body was pulled from the wreckage, he was still clutching the brake lever and whistle cord.
  • "Leave me alone..." — sound collage master Don Joyce of Negativland, dying of heart failure after a lifetime as a heavy smoker.
  • "My lifework has been accomplished; now I can let go." — Traudl Junge, Adolf Hitler's last secretary, upon learning of the success of the premiere of Downfall, which was in part about her. She died hours later.
  • "Ille faciet." ("He'll do it.") — Karl IX of Sweden, about his son. And he did.
  • "Don't worry, it's not loaded -- see?" — Terry Kath, lead guitarist of the rock band Chicago, right before he was proven wrong. The line is also attributed to R&B artist Johnny Ace (although it's entirely possible they both had this happen).
  • "Ich rufe den Allmächtigen an, er möge sich des deutschen Volkes erbarmen. Über zwei Millionen deutsche Soldaten sind vor mir für ihr Vaterland in den Tod gegangen. Ich folge meinen Söhnen nach. Alles für Deutschland!" ("I call upon the Almighty to have mercy on the German people. More than two million German soldiers went to their deaths for the Fatherland before me. I now follow my sons. All for Germany!") — Wilhelm Keitel, German Feldmarschall during World War II, before being executed by hanging in Nuremberg prison.note 
  • "Not my senses, what I do with them, is my kingdom." — Helen Keller's last recorded words. She was a member of the Church of the New Jerusalem, so she believed that the earth and all of nature as well as heaven are the Kingdom of God.
  • "Such is life." — Ned Kelly, before being hanged.
  • "No, you certainly can't." — John F. Kennedy after Nellie Connally remarked "Mr. President, you certainly can't say Dallas doesn't love you." Kennedy's driver said that the President cried out "My God, I'm hit!" after being shot through the neck. However, none of the other four people in the car recalled hearing this, and it would seem unlikely that Kennedy would have been able to say anything after a bullet ripped through his throat.
  • "I only wish I had drunk more champagne." — J.M. Keynes, economist.
  • "I'm suffocating... take this bag off my head! I'm claustrophobic!" — Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who was assassinated at a Saudi consulate in Turkey in late 2018.
  • "No, I'm not." — Herb Khaury, better known as Tiny Tim, responding to his wife asking him if he was all right. He was performing at the Women's Club of Minneapolis in a very badly arranged, messy staging. Seconds later he collapsed onstage. He was pronounced dead an hour later.
  • "Ben, make sure you play 'Take My Hand, Precious Lord' in the meeting tonight. Play it real pretty." — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to musician Ben Branch. Ironically, "Precious Lord" is a funeral hymn, written by Rev. William Dorsey after his wife died.
  • "Okay, okay, okay." — Sam Kinison
  • "Minä elän!" ("I live!") — attributed to Finnish author Aleksis Kivi
  • "Now, excuse me, I have to go." — Satoshi Kon, Japanese director, in his last blog post. The actual Japanese expression is actually commonly used when office workers leave, so it could be better translated as "Please excuse me for leaving before you."
  • "I will not ask for mercy, nor would I have it on you!" — Rade Končar, Yugoslav Communist leader and legendary World War II resistance fighter, when asked whether he would ask for clemency.
  • "You'll hang me now, but I am not alone. There are two hundred million of us. You can't hang us all." — Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya, Soviet partisan who was hanged by German soldiers.

    L-M 
  • « Voilà une semaine qui commence mal. » ("Here's a week that begins badly.") — Pierre François Lacenaire, poet and double murderer, executed on a Monday morning in 1836.
  • « Je suis toute à vous. » ("I am all yours.") — Adrienne de Lafayette, to her husband, the Marquis de Lafayette. He had the words engraved on a miniature of her around the time of their marriage, and held it in his hand as he died.
  • "Mildred, why aren't my clothes laid out? I've got a seven o'clock call." — Bert Lahr, to his wife. Already dying of cancer, he had been filming The Night They Raided Minsky's and caught pneumonia during a lengthy night scene.
  • "I am going to the inevitable." — Philip Larkin.
  • "Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out." — Hugh Latimer, while being burned at the stake for being a Protestant, to Nicolas Ridley (who was burned alongside him).
  • "Assum est — versa et manduca." (literally "It's cooked — turn and eat", but more idiomatically, "Turn me over — I'm done on this side"note ) — attributed to St. Lawrence the Martyr by St. Ambrose. St. Lawrence, as tradition has it, was broiled to death on a gridiron. He is the Patron Saint of chefs, roasters, and comedians.
  • "Don't give up the ship!" — final orders of Captain James Lawrence, United States Navy. He had just been mortally wounded by British small-arms fire. The ship and crew were captured anyway shortly afterwards, but the survivors eventually reported Lawrence's death and last words to Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. He promptly had "Don't give up the ship!" embroidered into his battle flag, and the rest was history.
  • "Why?... Why not?... Beautiful!" — Timothy Leary, moments before he died — on video, as he wished.
  • "Tell Hill he must come up. Strike the tent." — Robert E. Lee, Confederate general, dying of heart disease in 1870. "Hill" refers to his subordinate general A.P. Hill, who replaced Stonewall Jackson (elsewhere on this page) in 1863. Hill had been killed in action a month before the end of the Civil War in 1865.
  • "I'm shot!" — John Lennon, as he walked into the security guard's office after being shot on the night of December 8, 1980. He tried to speak again but couldn't manage it; he died in the patrol car that took him to the hospital.The doctors who examined his body after the fact were astounded when the officers told them Lennon had walked into the police station under his own power and managed to speak to them. Apparently, according the examiners, Lennon could have been shot in the best hospital in the world, surrounded by the best doctors and the best equipment available at the time, and he still wouldn't have had a chance.
  • "Tois de stratiôtais narêggeilen aristopoieisthai ôs en Haidou deipnopoiêsomenous" (Τοῖς δὲ στρατιώταις παρήγγειλεν ἀριστοποιεῖσθαι ὡς ἐν Ἅιδου δειπνοποιησομένους, "Eat heartily, for tonight we shall dine with Hades in the Underworld") — attributed to King Leonidas of Sparta by Plutarch, as his last order to his troops before the Battle of Thermopylae, where they all died. It became much more memetic in the form it took in 300: "Tonight we'll dine in Hell!"
  • "They won't think anything about it." — Abraham Lincoln, to his wife Mary, moments before he was shot. She had asked him what would other people think about an old couple like them holding hands in the theater.
  • "I think I'm going to make it!" — Richard Loeb, half of the Leopold & Loeb duo of murderers, after being stabbed ninety times by another inmate.
  • "God, don’t let me die. I have so much to do." — Huey Long, senator of Louisiana, who was shot as he exited the Capitol rotunda and died two days later.
  • "This is for you!" — Ricardo López, stalker of musician Björk, just before he fired a small-caliber pistol into his mouth.
  • « Je m'en vais, mais l'État demeurera toujours. » ("I am going, but the State shall always remain.") — King Louis XIV of France. There's a variant that ties in with his famous line L'État, c'est moi ("I am the State"): « L'État, Versailles » ("The State is Versailles"), meaning essentially the same thing (i.e. the State will be there as long as there is a King at Versailles). His penultimate line is also famous and proves the point: « Pourqoui pleurez-vous ? Avez-vous imaginé que j'étais immortel ? » ("Why are you weeping? Did you imagine I was immortal?") in response to the lamentations of his subjects, for many of whom Louis was the only king they had ever known.
  • "I die innocent of all the crimes laid to my charge; I pardon those who have occasioned my death; and I pray to God that the blood you are going to shed may never be visited on France." — King Louis XVI of France, before being guillotined during The French Revolution.
  • "I think I will go to sleep now." — Harold Macmillan, former British Prime Minister.
  • "Radi ti, dijete, svoj posao." ("Do your job, child.") — Saint Vukasin Madrapa of Klepci, Orthodox saint killed in the Jasenovac extermination camp in Croatia during World War II. He said these words several times to the prison guard who mutilated him to death.
  • "Remember me not as an Italian princess, but as an Italian sister." — Princess Mafalda of Savoy, daughter of King Vittorio Emmanuele III of Italy, who was held prisioner in the Nazi concentration camp of Buchenwald and died when it was bombed by the Allies.
  • "Brothers, break it up — be cool, be calm." — Malcolm X, who was trying to stop a fight in the audience at the Audubon Ballroom, where he planned to speak to the Organization of Afro-American Unity. The fight was a deliberate distraction; he was gunned down by members of the Nation of Islam seconds later.
  • "Chairman, your student and fighter is coming to see you!" — Jiang Qing, popularly known as "Madame Mao", last wife of Mao Zedong, who had been imprisoned for her role in the Cultural Revolution and the "Gang of Four" after Mao's death. These were her last written words before she hanged herself in prison in 1991.
  • "Aidez-moi, ma chère amie!" ("Help me, my dear friend!") — Jean-Paul Marat, after being stabbed in his bathtub by a sympathizer of a rival group during The French Revolution. The assassin, Charlotte Corday, was captured and beheaded afterwards.
  • "I feel great." — "Pistol" Pete Maravich, former NBA star, seconds before his death of an undiagnosed congenital heart defect during a pickup basketball game.
  • « Pardonnez-moi, monsieur; je ne l'ai point fait exprès. » ("Forgive me, sir, I didn't do it on purpose.") — Queen Marie Antoinette of France, as an apology for having stepped on her executioner Samson's foot as she walked towards the guillotine.
  • "Money can't buy life." — Bob Marley
  • "Gentlemen, the uh, camper and the car sitting over to the south of me is covered. It's gonna get me, too. I can't get out of here." — Gerry Martin, amateur radio operator, killed by a pyroclastic flow after the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980. The campsite he's referring to belonged to David Johnston, who's also on this page; he witnessed the explosion that destroyed Johnston's trailer and knew he was next.
  • "Oh, I love him. My God, I love you." — St. Thérèse Martin of Lisieux, the "Little Flower", author of Story of a Soul and the idea of the little way to God through faithfulness in everyday life rather than epic martyrdom and striving. Her death from tuberculosis was extremely painful. She was just 24. One of the most popular saints, thanks in part to energetic promotion of her "brand" on the part of her sisters, who had sat by her bedside during her final months taking down every word she said.
  • "Look, Mother! What a pretty light, there, by the door — Now I don't see it anymore." — St. Francisco Marto, one of the three children who saw the Virgin Mary at Fatima. He died a few hours later, aged ten.
  • "But I am going to die, father, this very night!" — last recorded words of St. Jacinta Marto, Francisco's sister. She was asking the hospital chaplain to give her the last rites. He laughed, told her her conditionnote  wasn't that serious. He was wrong. She was nine, and this made her the youngest canonized saint outside of the child martyrs.
  • "Go on, get out. Last words are for fools who haven't said enough." — Karl Marx
  • "Die, my dear? Why, that's the last thing I'll do!" — Groucho Marx, and also Lord Palmerston.
  • "When I am dead and opened, you shall find Calais lying in my heart." — Mary I of England. Calais had fallen to the French during her reign after being an English possession for over 200 years.
  • "I die a true Scottish woman and a true French woman." - Mary, Queen of Scots.
  • "Ya thes kero pou dialexe o Haros na me parei, tora p'anthizoun ta klaria kai vganei i yis hortari." (Για δες καιρό που διάλεξε ο Χάρος να με πάρει, τώρα π' ανθίζουν τα κλαριά και βγάνει η γης χορτάρ&#953, "Look at the time Charon chose to take me, now that the branches are flowering, and the Earth sends forth grass.") — Athanasios Nikolaos Massavetas, a.k.a. Athanasios Diakos, Greek military commander during the Greek War of Independence, considered a venerable national hero in Greece, before being Impaled with Extreme Prejudice by the Turks.
  • "Yrittääkö kersantti opettaa minulle lentämistä?" ("Is Sergeant attempting to teach me how to fly?") — Major Auvo Maunula of the Finnish Air Force, when he intended to take Sergeant Bengt Ringbom's Morane 406 fighter for a mission. Sergeant Ringbom warned Maunula that the particular plane behaved somewhat capriciously and he should be cautious with it. Turned out Sgt. Ringbom was right.
  • "¡Mexicanos! Muero por una causa justa, la de la independencia y libertad de México. ¡Ojalá que mi sangre ponga fin las desgracias de mi nueva patria! ¡Viva México!" ("Mexicans! I die for a noble cause, the independence and freedom of Mexico. I hope my blood puts an end to the disgrace of my new homeland! Long live Mexico!") — Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico, before being shot by liberal troops.
  • "Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history. Farewell, fellow Americans. God bless you, and God bless America." — The final statement of U.S. Senator John McCain, prepared in his final days and released in the hours after his passing. The full statement can be read here.
  • "Daddy flight. Save your auxiliary fuel tanks." — Thomas McGuire, the second highest scoring American WWII Ace Pilot. His undoing was to attack a lone Japanese Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa at low altitude with a heavy and cumbersome P-38 Lightning.note  Unfortunately, his adversary was Akira Sugimoto, a flight instructor with over 3,000 hours with the type. Sugimoto evaded the attack, and as McGuire attempted to come around for another pass, his heavily laden plane stalled and snap-rolled in the turn, falling in jungle and exploding. McGuire was killed instantly.
  • "We are all going, we are all going. God's will be done, not ours." — President William McKinley. Dying from gangrene brought on by Leon Czolgosz's bullet, his wife Ida begged him to take her with him. McKinley said this in response, used the last of his strength to hug her, and died.
  • "We are holding our own." — Captain Ernest M. McSorley, on November 10, 1975, 17 minutes before the SS Edmund Fitzgerald (the very same vessel immortalized in Gordon Lightfoot's famous song) sank with the loss of all 29 men on board. While it's likely that he said other things before he died, these were the last words he transmitted to SS Arthur M. Anderson, and so his last recorded words. Though the wreckage was soon found, the exact cause of the sinking was never determined.note 
  • "Then, it is time to die!" — Simon de Montfort, upon hearing his son died in battle. Simon then charged against Edward I's knights and was cut down.
  • "And if you don't like it, then fuck off!" — Keith Moon, demanding that his girlfriend make him steak for breakfast, just before dying of a heart attack brought on by his abuse of a drug intended to treat his alcoholism.
  • "Shoot straight, you bastards! Don't make a mess of it!" — Sergeant Harold "Breaker" Morant to his firing squad.
  • "Pity that should be cut, that hath not committed treason." — Thomas More, moving his long beard out of the way of the chopping block before being executed for high treason.
  • "Thank God that's over." — Eric Morecambe, just after coming off stage, and just before dying of a heart attack.
  • "I've got to be crazy to do this shot. I should've asked for a double." — actor Vic Morrow, to his co-star Dick Peabody shortly before the helicopter crash that killed him and two child stars during the filming of Twilight Zone: The Movie. The director, John Landis, called for an Army helicopter to pursue Morrow and the children across a flooded village while pyrotechnics went off around him, and he had the pilot fly dangerously low to the ground for the shot, ignoring the warnings from the pilot and safety experts that the chopper was too close to the pyrotechnics. As a result, the helicopter became damaged by the blast, and crashed down on top of Morrow and the kids, decapitating Morrow and one child and crushing the other underneath the landing skid.
  • "Did they get off?" — Douglas Albert Munro, a Coast Guardsman who was killed while evacuating a group of pinned-down Marines from a beach during the Battle of Guadalcanal. He had ordered his boats to land on the beach in a position where they could provide cover for the Marines as they withdrew. (They did.)
  • "Put that damned cigarette out!" — Hector Hugh Munro, a.k.a. "Saki", who had left his writing career to become an officer in World War I. Said cigarette allowed enemy snipers to draw a bead on the smoker in the foxhole. Munro was promptly killed by a German sniper who had overheard the remark, just before the Armistice in 1918.
  • "Sparatemi nel petto" ("Shoot me in the chest!") — Benito Mussolini, hammy even in death, before getting shot everywhere by the execution squad.
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    N-R 
  • "Come in, brother." — Daoud Nabi, the first of 49 victims of the Christchurch, New Zealand mosque shootings.
  • Admiral Horatio Nelson's last words are famous, but what exactly there are is disputed: they could be "Thank God I have done my duty", or "Kiss me, Hardy", or "Drink, drink... rub, rub... fan, fan..." A round on QI addressed this controversy specifically, only to note that most pithy last words are most likely some clever thing that the dying person happened to say at some point before their death, and that their real last words are remarkably mundane — like asking for a drink of water.
  • "Qualis artifex pereo!" (literally "I die such an artist!", more colloquially "Such a great artist is lost to the world!") — Emperor Nero, before his slave killed him by his orders. Supposedly, he also said after this "Sero! Haec est fides!" ("Too late! This is fidelity!") to a soldier who burst in on him and tried to save him (so that he could be executed, Nero apparently not understanding the situation).
  • « Camarades, tirez sur moi et visez juste ! Français, je proteste devant Dieu et la Patrie contre le jugement qui me condamne. J'en appelle aux hommes, à la postérité, à Dieu — vive la France ! Soldats, visez droit au cœur ! » ("Comrades, fire at me and aim true! Frenchmen, I protest before God and the Nation against the judgment which condemns me. I call to all men, to posterity, to God — long live France! Soldiers, aim straight for the heart!") — Napoleon's Marshal Michel Ney, who had asked (and been granted) the right to direct the execution squad himself.
  • "T-the saints! The saints!" — Venerable Galileo Nicolini, an Ill Boy studying to be a Passionist priest. He was staring at a painting of the Virgin Mary as he lay dying.
  • "Too kind, too kind." — Florence Nightingale, on hearing she had received the Order of Merit from King Edward.
  • "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAPnote " — Leonard Nimoy's last tweet.
  • "I'm going outside and I might be some time." — Captain Lawrence Oates, a Polar explorer on the expedition of Robert Falcon Scott (also on this page), who realized his severe frostbite was putting the whole team at risk. He stepped outside into the blizzard and his body was never found.
  • "All harsh judgements I e'er made / On Munster's nobles, I repay; / Greay Meagher's stark servant / has passed like harsh judgement on me." — Angus O'Daly, 17th century Irish poet, stabbed by the servant of O'Meagher, one of the many Irish lords who were victims of his stinging satires. He saw fit to compose a poem as he lay dying to finger his assassin. The line is a translation from the original Irish, which conforms perfectly to the ludicrously complex rules of Irish poetic meter. Of course, this probably wasn't spontaneous; given the "Red Bard"'s unpopularity, he probably composed the poem in advance and just slotted in the culprit's name when the time came.
  • "Maak het kort." ("Make it short.") — Johan van Oldebarnevelt, Dutch nobleman, while he was about to be beheaded. A fit of Gallows Humor, as "short" here could either refer to time (i.e. make it quick) or length (i.e. like what you would ask a barber).
  • "I told you I did it! I told you I did! I killed him! I killed him and I don't know why I did it!" — Brynn Omdahl, wife of Phil Hartman, who shot her husband dead in his sleep before turning the gun on herself.
  • "I knew it. Born in a hotel room, and damn it, dying in a hotel room" — attributed to Eugene O'Neill, or at least some variation thereof.
  • "Sergeant, the Spanish bullet isn't made that will kill me." — William Owen "Buckey" O'Neill
  • "My battery is low and it's getting dark." — NASA's Opportunity Mars Rover, shortly before it was engulfed by a global sandstorm on the Red Planet. The sandstorm would likely cover the rover's solar panels, which would prevent it from recharging and maintaining the heating elements against Mars' frigid temperatures, meaning it would likely shut down. Space fans treated it as if it were an actual being dying alone on Mars and hoped it would find a way to save itself such as going into "hibernation". They have suggested that the first humans on Mars might repair Opportunity or return it to Earth, and NASA only declared Opportunity "dead" on February 13, 2019, almost nine years after its mission was supposed to end.
  • "Battalion Seven to Ladder 15." — Orio Palmer, Chief of Battalion 7 of the New York City Fire Department — the only group to make it up to the 78th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, after it was struck there by a plane. He was trying to raise FDNY Ladder 15, probably to coordinate rescue and fire suppression efforts and perhaps save people who were higher than the impact site, but the South Tower collapsed only a minute later, killing everyone still inside.
  • "Hurry up, you Hoosier bastard! I could kill ten men while you're fooling around!" — Carl Panzram, Serial Killer, to his hangman.
  • "I can't hear very well. And there's a mist in front of my eyes. But it will go away, won't it? Don't forget to open the window tomorrow..." — Boris Pasternak, Russian poet and writer, better known to Westerners as the author of Doctor Zhivago.
  • "Hell of a way to die." — General George S. Patton, after the doctor told him the car accident he'd been in had damaged his spine, meaning he would be paralyzed from the neck down and would never be able to take military command, resume a normal life, or ride a horse ever again.note  Thankfully for him, he died peacefully in his sleep that night.
  • "Akademik Pavlov zanyat. On umirayet." («Академик Павлов занят. Он умирает.», "Professor Pavlov is busy. He is dying.") — Ivan Pavlov, Russian professor famous for his experiments with his dog, requested that any calls should be answered thus.
  • "Get my 'Swan' costume ready," then (after a few gestures) "Play that last measure very softly." — Anna Pavlova, the famous Russian ballerina. She was referring to the famous dance and role she created of The Dying Swan.
  • "I am murdered." — Spencer Perceval, the only British Prime Minister to be assassinated, and about as unpithy and unquotable as one would expect from him. He was astonishingly unlucky, as he wasn't particularly unpopular and was assassinated by an opportunistic and deluded man who was personally very badly affected by a ministerial decision somewhere.
  • "I leave everything to..." — Peter the Great. He had decided that he would name his successor only immediately before he died, so as to make the best-informed decision possible. It didn't work out how he planned.
  • "Drink to me, drink to my health, you know I can't drink any more." — Pablo Picasso. Paul McCartney made a song out of that.
  • "If we must fall, then let us fall like men!" — William Pitt The Elder, during a speech in the House of Lords about the possibility of Great Britain being invaded by the French during The American Revolution. He collapsed immediately after this, although he didn't die until some days later.
  • "I think I could eat one of Bellamy's veal pies." — William Pitt The Younger, unfortunately for him, remembered for posterity. His penultimate words were much more dignified: "Oh, my country! How I leave my country!"
  • "Lord, help my poor soul." — Edgar Allan Poe, dying delirious from a still-unknown disease, possibly rabies. Earlier he had also repeatedly called out the name "Reynolds"; to this day it is unknown what he meant.
  • "I love you, Sarah. For all eternity, I love you." — James K. Polk, former president of the United States.
  • "Good-bye, boys; I die a true American." — William "Bill the Butcher" Poole, both the real life version of him and the fictionalized one from Gangs of New York.
  • "I don't call that much of a lunch." — Enoch Powell, on being told he'd be fed intravenously.
  • "Judges, Slobodan Praljak is not a war criminal. With disdain, I reject your verdict!" — Slobodan Praljak, a Croatian general on trial for crimes against humanity in the Croat-Bosniak War, shortly before drinking a vial of what he claimed was poison. The trial was postponed and he died shortly afterwords in a hospital.
  • "Vi faccio vedere come muore un Italiano!" ("I'll show you how an Italian dies!") — Fabrizio Quattrocchi, on being executed by Iraqi terrorists.
  • « Je m'en vais chercher un grand peut-être; tirez le rideau, la farce est jouée. » ("I go to see a Great Perhaps; let the curtain fall, the comedy has been played.") — François Rabelais, as mentioned in Looking for Alaska. The last line is a reference to Augustus's last words, also on this page.
  • "Bear this message to my precious wife: I die a Christian and hope to meet her in heaven." — Confederate General Stephen Dodson Ramseur, after being wounded at the Battle of Cedar Creek in 1864.
  • "I miss her so much, I want to be with Carrie." — Debbie Reynolds, actress and mother of Carrie Fisher, just prior to having a fatal stroke the day after her daughter's death.
  • "God protect Germany. God have mercy on my soul. My final wish is that Germany should recover her unity and that, for the sake of peace, there should be understanding between East and West. I wish peace to the world." — Joachim von Ribbentrop, Nazi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Number Two to Hitler, and creator of the infamous Pact of Steel and Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, sentenced to death by hanging in the Nuremberg Trials. Right before having the hood placed on him, he looked at the prison's chaplain and added, "I'll see you again."
  • "Treason! Treason!" — King Richard III, as he laid about him with a sword during the Battle of Bosworth Field, a little before he was cut down by his massed enemies.
  • "Now I'm going to tell you a story from the Bible about spiritual courage." — Branch Rickey, baseball executive and innovator, speaking before the Missouri Hall of Fame just before the heart attack that killed him. He is best known for signing Afro-American second baseman Jackie Robinson into the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking the game's color line forever.
  • « O Liberté, que de crimes on commet en ton nom ! » ("O Liberty, what crimes are committed in thy name!") — Madame Marie-Jeanne Roland, just before being guillotined, toward the image of Liberty in the Place de la Révolution.
  • "What? What?" — Tsar Nicholas II Romanov of Russia, after being told he and his whole family would be executed to solidify Communist rule and prevent a possible restoration. The royal family was massacred by a firing squad seconds later; this includes the 13-year old heir to the throne, Alexei, who survived the first salvo and was personally finished off with a couple more headshots from the captain before the family was unceremoniously buried in a pit.
  • "I have a terrific pain in the back of my head." — President Franklin D. Roosevelt, after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage.
  • "Please put out that light, James." — Theodore Roosevelt, to his servant James Amos.
  • "Nein." ("No.") — Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg, sentenced to death by hanging at Nuremberg, when he was asked if he had any last word to say.
  • "You know I always speak very distinctly." — Charlie Ross, press secretary to Harry Truman. While giving a briefing to NBC News on December 5, 1950, his assistant told him not to mumble, and he said the line — then he fell off his chair and died of a heart attack.
  • "Meanwhile, don't let anyone into my room, even if it's the Emperor." — Rudolf, prince of Austria-Hungary and son of Emperor Franz Joseph, with whom he was not on the best of terms. These aren't his actual last words (those being about asking for his breakfast and his horses the next morning), but it's a bit of Gallows Humor, as Rudolf and his wife died in a planned Murder-Suicide in what became known as the Mayerling incident, and he had sent farewell letters to everyone of importance in his life except the Emperor.
  • "I am a Catholic and wholeheartedly do accept death for the Lord. If I had a thousand lives, all these I shall offer to Him." — St. Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint, tortured to death in Japan during the persecution of Japanese Christians.

    S-Z 
  • "Nothing is true, everything is permitted." — Hassan-i Sabbah, leader of the Hashâshīn. Yes, that is where Assassin's Creed got it from.
  • "No! No!" — Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat, moments before he was gunned down at the Suez Canal parade by members of al-Jama'a al-Islamiyya, a Sunni terrorist group, on October 6, 1981.
  • "To you that have grown rich from the sweat of my brow while keeping myself and my family in partial misery or worse, I ask only that from those profits you find the funds to pay for my funeral. Breaking my pen, I salute you. —Emilio Salgari." — Italian Dime Novel author Emilio Salgari, addressing his publishers in a letter found shortly after he committed suicide.
  • "For the Holy Father! Our Lady, Our Lady, holy angels, Heart of Jesus, Heart of Jesus! We are going, we are going." — Lucia Santos, the last of the three children who saw Our Lady of Fatima in 1917. She was 97 years old. Mary had told her her little cousins would die "soon" (they did, within two years) but that Lucia would stay "a while longer". The words are common short prayers among Fatima devotees. When the mother superior asked "Where are you going?", she replied "To heaven, with Our Lord, and Our Lady, and the little shepherds" (meaning her cousins).
  • "Oh, that this were for Ireland!" — Patrick Sarsfield, Irish leader, who died at the 1693 Battle of Landen, part of the Nine Years' War. After losing the Williamite War, he went on to become one of the many "Wild Geese", a group of Irish mercenaries.
  • "It's good." — Sadako Sasaki, a 12-year-old casualty of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, famous for (almost) folding 1,000 paper cranes, on tasting her last meal, tea on rice.
  • "Es lebe die Freiheit!" ("Let freedom live!") — Hans Scholl, executed by guillotine for nonviolently protesting the Nazi regime in 1943. His sister Sophie was executed minutes before (along with their co-conspirator Christoph Probst); her last words were "How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to give himself up individually to a righteous cause? Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go, but what does my death matter, if through us, thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?"
  • American gangster Dutch Schultz lingered for 22 hours after being fatally shot in 1935; during much of that time he was delirious and hallucinating, but a police stenographer transcribed almost every word he said. The resulting document is too long is quote (although you can read it here), but it is a fascinating stream-of-consciouness babble that later influenced and was used by numerous writers, including William S. Burroughs and Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson.
  • "Roger, go at throttle up." — Dick Scobee, Commander of the Space Shuttle Challenger, in the last communication from the shuttle before it exploded during launch. This communication confirm the move to full power.
  • "Last entry. For God's sake look after our people." — Robert Falcon Scott, leader of an ill-fated British expedition to the South Pole. That Was the Last Entry.
  • "I'm ashamed of you, dodging that way. They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance!" — Union Major General John Sedgwick, right before he was shot by a sniper at the battle of Spotsylvania Court House. The line is famous enough that it named the trope the Sedgwick Speech; for added effect, the line is often misquoted to imply that he was Killed Mid-Sentence. Unfortunately for the memesters, he got another line out before he was shot: "All right, my man, go to your place."
  • "I'm losing." — Frank Sinatra, just prior to having a fatal heart attack.
  • "My chief consolation is that if I am scuppered tonight — I am off on duty in a few minutes — there will still be left a member of the great T.C.B.S. to voice what I dreamed and what we all agreed upon. For the death of one of its members cannot, I am determined, dissolve the T.C.B.S. Death can make us loathsome and helpless as individuals, but it cannot put an end to the immortal four! A discovery I am going to communicate to Robnote  before I go off to-night. And do you write it also to Christopher. May God bless you, my dear John Ronald, and may you say the things I have tried to say long after I am not there to say them, if such be my lot. Yours ever, G. B. S." — Geoffrey Bache Smith.
  • "Ô Kritôn, tô Asklêpiô opheílomen alektryóna, alla apódote kai mê amelêsête." (Ὦ Κρίτων τῷ Ἀσκληπιῷ ὀφείλομεν ἀλεκτρυόνα. ἀλλὰ ἀπόδοτε καὶ μὴ ἀμελήσητε, "Oh, Crito, we owe a rooster to Asklepios — pay it to him, and don't forget about it!") — Socrates, to his friend Crito, on his being administered hemlock. Asklepios was the Greek god of medicine, and it was customary for those who were healed to sacrifice a rooster to him. (Despite the joke, his last words were not "I drank what?!")
  • "Oh my God. Something's happened. Lower the curtain." — Chung Ling Soo, stage magician who was actually a white man who performed in Yellowface. He was famous for a trick where he would appear to appear to do a Bullet Catch with his teeth — until the show where it went wrong and he was shot in the chest by a real bullet. That line was the only time he ever spoke English in his Chinese persona.
  • "Blessed Mary, Mother of God, pray for me! A poor sinner, a poor sinner!" — Saint Bernadette Soubirous, visionary of Our Lady of Lourdes, who became a nun and died at age 35 of bone tuberculosis. The words are from the familiar "Hail Mary" prayer.
  • "Not like this, don't leave like this." — Layne Staley, lead singer of Alice in Chains, to his bandmate Mike Starr after an argument with him. Starr was the last person to see him alive. Staley died the next day from a drug overdose.
  • Joseph Stalin's last words were a series of unintelligible responses to Peter Lozgachev, Deputy Commandant of Kuntsevo, as he had suffered a stroke and couldn't talk. His only intelligible response is supposedly, "You!!", but that wouldn't make any sense.
  • "Es lebe unser heiliges Deutschland!" ("Long live our sacred Germany!") — Claus von Stauffenberg.
  • "Does my face look strange?" — Robert Louis Stevenson, just before collapsing from a cerebral hemmorhage.
  • "I'm going to be with Gloria now." — Jimmy Stewart, talking about his wife who'd preceded him in death.
  • "The Bolsheviks shall hang you all one day!" — Julius Streicher, notorious Nazi journalist who was executed after the Nuremberg trials. Kingsbury Smith says that Streicher, on being brought to the scaffold, exclaimed "Heil Hitler! Purim Fest 1946!" — Purim is a Jewish holiday commemorating Esther's victory over Haman, a great persecutor of the Jews, but the Nazis sided with Haman and used the holiday as a sadistic symbol of the triumph of the supposed Jewish conspiracy. He also supposedly told his executioner, "May the Jews one day serve you as they have me!", to which the executioner apparently replied, "I hope you enjoyed saying that — now you can choke for it!" — and moved the noose to a spot where Streicher would be killed slowly by strangulation.
  • "Thank God I gave up my life so that Helen might live. God help her to live without me when I go." — Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller's lifelong companion, teacher, interpreter and, she would say, liberator.
  • "Peace. Democracy. Save China." — Sun Yat-sen
  • "I'm not afraid to die. I'm going home." — Patrick Swayze, according to his family.
  • The Texas Department of Justice has compiled a list of the final statements of criminals before execution. These are literally the final things those people said as they were being strapped to the lethal injection table — not really all that famous, but still making a morbidly fascinating reading of what people actually say while facing imminent doom.
  • "Tanomu kara shigoto wo sasete kure!" ("頼むから仕事をさせてくれ!", "I'm begging you, let me keep working!") — Osamu Tezuka, hospitalized and dying of stomach cancer, as a nurse took away his pens and paper so he could rest. Fans interpret this as him screaming at the gods.
  • "Before closing my eyes and moving towards the vision of the Buddha, I respectfully plead to President Ngo Dinh Diem to take a mind of compassion towards the people of the nation and implement religious equality to maintain the strength of the homeland eternally. I call the venerables, reverends, members of the sangha and the lay Buddhists to organize in solidarity to make sacrifices to protect Buddhism." — Thích Quảng Đức, Vietnamese Buddhist monk, in a final letter before his Self-Immolation in a busy Saigon street during protests against then-South Vietnamese Minister Ngo Dinh Diem. The famous picture of Đức peacefully seated in the lotus position while he literally burned to death became one of history's most distinctive pictures, and ultimately led to the collapse of the Diem regime itself. His final spoken words were a recitation of the Nam mô A Di Đà Phật, a Buddhist prayer.
  • "Now comes good sailing. Moose... Indian..." — Henry David Thoreau
  • "Ennek így kellett lennie..." ("It had to be this way...") — István Tisza, Prime Minister of Hungary, after being shot by soldiers who blamed him for World War I.
  • "I can yet find words to thank you sir; it is the most welcome news you could give me. What should I wish to live for?" — Theobald Wolfe Tone, one of the leaders of the Irish Rebellion of 1798. When his request to be convicted as a soldier and killed by firing squad was denied, he attempted to slit his own throat rather than be hanged as a criminal. British doctors saved him, but the injury was so severe that the simple act of speaking would cause it to re-open and would kill Wolfe in seconds. When the doctors told him this, Wolfe simply responded with the above statement.
  • Leon Trotsky has several candidates:
    • His last written paragraph, found on his desk on the day he was murdered, was from a biography of Joseph Stalin: "All traditional moral principles are getting worse, not just those emanating from Stalin. However, a historical explanation is not a justification. Nero was also a product of its time, but when he died, his statues were destroyed, and his name was removed from everywhere. The revenge of history is more terrible than the most powerful general secretary. I dare say that this is comforting."
    • His political testament is even longer.
    • His last coherent spoken words, as he was being transported to the hospital: "This time they've done it. I think Stalin has finally finished the job he has started."
    • His last incoherent spoken words, just before he fell unconscious: "I am close to death from the blow a political assassin... struck me down in my room. I struggled with him... we... entered... talk about French statistics... he struck me... Please say to our friends... I am sure... of the victory... of the Fourth International... Onward".
  • "Yeah, I'll go back to the main lobby, otherwise... oh, I'll get a cup of tea on the way, too." — Patrick Troughton, English actor best known for playing the second incarnation of the Doctor on Doctor Who; while these likely weren't the last words he said, they're the last words available on record, taken from a home video shot just hours before his death.
  • "Ein davar, tov lamoot bead artzenu." ("It does not matter, it is good to die for our country.") — Joseph Trumpeldor, a Jewish settler, at the Battle of Tel Hai (1920), after being asked how he felt by a doctor while bleeding. His legacy carries on, as his last words have become the slogan for dying for Israel.
  • "It's all my fault." — Admiral Sir George Tryon, before drowning after his flagship was accidentally rammed during a precision maneuver in which he misjudged the distance in which his fleet's two columns could turn in on each other without colliding. It really was mostly his fault.
  • "I go to prepare a place for you". — Harriet Tubman, quoting John 14:2.
  • "Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta." ("Mother Earth, witness how my enemies shed my blood.") — Tupac Amaru, last Inca King, right before being beheaded by the Conquistadores.
  • "The Sun is God." — attributed to painter J.M.W. Turner
  • "They will be satisfied now." — the infamous "Boss" W.M. Tweed, on his deathbed in jail.
  • "Lord, open the King of England's eyes!" — William Tyndale, before being strangled and burned at the stake for being a Protestant.
  • "Don't pull down the blinds. I feel fine!", then to his doctor, "Don't worry, chief. I will be all right." — Rudolph Valentino, dying of peritonitis. He didn't know it and thought he was just having minor complications from ulcer surgery.
  • "Serenely, I take my first step on the road to eternity, and I leave life to enter history." — Brazilian President Gètulio Vargas, who wrote these down before defusing a massive political crisis by shooting himself dead.
  • "Please leave the window open." — Jim Varney
  • "De acuerdo, entonces, lo diré: Dante me hace enfermar." — ("All right then, I'll say it: Dante makes me sick.") — Félix Arturo Lope de Vega y Carpio, Spanish poet and playwright.
  • "Too bad you can only live so long!" — sung by opera tenor Richard Versalle, five minutes into Leos Janáček's The Makropoulous Case, before dropping dead of a heart attack on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.
  • "Ut puto, deus fio." ("Oh damn it, I think I'm becoming a god.") — Roman Emperor Vespasian, being snarky about his traditional apotheosis.
  • « Allons allons, mon bon monsieur, ce n'est point le moment de nous faire des ennemis. » ("Now now, my good man, this is no time to be making enemies.") — attributed to Voltaire, when asked on his deathbed by an attending priest to renounce Satan. It's probably apocryphal, but it's just so something he would have said.
  • "For such a gentle prince, death is sweet." — Liutenant Hans Hermann von Katte, before being beheaded in front of his best friend Frederick, a.k.a. the soon-to-be Frederick the Great (also on this page), who had been Forced to Watch his execution and had apologized to Katte for his part in this tragedy.
  • "Well, this should be interesting." — Tom Waddell, former Olympian, founder of the Gay Games and one of the subjects of Common Threads: Stories From the Quilt.
  • "Meine uhr!" ("My watch!") — Richard Wagner. He had had a heart attacknote  and was dying in his wife's arms when the watch fell from his pocket onto the floor.
  • "Leave me alone." — Diana, Princess of Wales, to first responders and photographers who tried to help get her out of the wreck of her vehicle following her fatal car crash in August 1997. She was actually conscious but reported to be in a state of shock immediately following the accident, but while being transported to the hospital she went into cardiac arrest and died a few hours later from severe internal injuries.
  • "The flag, the flag. Oh the flag!" — Gouverneur Warren, Union general, on his deathbed in 1882.
  • "Gioia, o gioia!" — sung by opera baritone Leonard Warren, on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in New York on March 5, 1960, just before he dropped dead. Worse still, he had just completed an aria that begins with the words Morir! Tremenda cosa! ("To die, a tremendous thing!")
  • "I am just going. Have me decently buried and do not let my body be into a vault in less than two days after I am dead. Do you understand me? 'Tis well. I die hard, but I am not afraid to go." — George Washington, first President of the United States, who had a fear of being buried alive.
  • "Just don't talk, please don't talk / Don't you talk about me when I'm gone!" — Edith Webster, playing Grandmother in the stage play The Drunkard (probably the Brian Burton musical parody version) on November 22, 1986 at the Towson Moose Lodge in Baltimore, singing the last line of "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone" — after which her character dies. Webster dropped dead on stage amid enthusiastic applause. When the stagehands started calling for help, the audience thought it was All Part of the Show.
  • "Jeg hadde slig en vidunderlig drøm, jeg drømte jeg sov i min moders favn." ("I had such a wonderful dream; I dreamt I slept in my mother's lap." — Henrik Wergeland. His mother had died a few years before.
  • "My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. Either it goes or I do." — attributed to Oscar Wilde, who was dying of cerebral meningitis, which is known to cause hallucinations. That, or he may have just really hated the wallpaper and let everyone know in his trademark way. In any event, these probably weren't actually his last words (those probably were the responses in the Last Rites), but this is just so like Oscar Wilde that people will insist this is what he said whether or not he said it.
  • "Now I'll find out what happened to Catherine!" — Dr. William Asa Winters, father of Catherine Winters, who vanished in March 1913 at the age of nine. He never stopped looking for her.
  • "Now god be praised, I can die in peace." — British General James Wolfe, after being fatally wounded at the 1759 Battle of the Plains of Abraham. He made this statement right after being told by his troops that the French Army was retreating from the field. Incidentally, the French commanding officer, General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm, was also killed in the battle.
  • "It's a fallacy to think that Hitler was the cause of the world's present woes. Germany was the cause of Hitler." — Alexander Woollcott, playwright and Caustic Critic, probably most famous today from his portrayal in The Man Who Came to Dinner. He spoke these words at a radio panel show, The People's Platform. He then stopped and wrote the words "I am sick." He had suffered a massive heart attack. He was taken to hospital where he died of cerebral hemorrhage.
  • "Seven lives for my country. Ten thousand years for His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor!" — Otoya Yamaguchi, assassin of politician Inejiro Asanuma. More exactly, he wrote them on the wall of his cell before hanging himself.
  • "Naui jugeumeul allijimara." ("나의 죽음을 알리지 마라", "The battle is at its height — do not announce my death.") — Admiral Yi Sun-Sin, Korea's greatest military hero, at the Battle of Noryang. His nephew Yi Wan, one of the two witnesses of his death, obeyed this last command and disguised himself in Sun-Sin's armor so that his men would not be demoralized.

    Other/Unsorted 
  • The last words of air pilots are often recorded on either cockpit voice recorders or on air traffic control logs, recording them for posterity (and investigation). Usually they're either totally innocuous (in the case of a sudden accident) or screaming and Tear Jerkers (because plane crashes are frigging scary).


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