Any last words? 47 famous last words from the planet’s legendary.

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I began curating these famous last words for writing inspiration.

But, as I read the dying lines of the planet’s more legendary humans, what I walked away with was something more.

These famous last words from writers like Ernest Hemingway and Virginia Woolf, we well as others who were elite in their respective fields, forced me to consider my own mortality and reflect on what’s really important in this short beautiful adventure we call a life.

I imagine it will do the same for you, too.

Is this article somber? Yes. But, I think it is also life-giving.

And, while our last words can’t in any way sum up our lives, they’re a hell of a lot more interesting than our first words… bye, hi, no, dog, baby, woof woof…

47 famous last words from Elvis Presley, Jane Austen, Leonardo Da Vinci and so on.

Before we begin, I would like to add a bit of commentary. My favorite line was said by John Jacob Astor, a gentleman and business mogul who perished with so many others on the Titanic.

It’s number thirty-nine…

(Additionally, if you find yourself adoring this article, you might like this curation of the most beautiful lines in literature, too).

Shall we begin?


“Applaud, my friends, the comedy is finished.”

— Beethoven, German composer and pianist.


“I’m going away tonight.”

— James Brown, American singer-songwriter.



— Joseph Henry Green, an English Surgeon, uttered the above words before death while checking his own pulse.


“I must go in, for the fog is rising.”

— Emily Dickinson, American Poet.


“Are you guys ready? Let’s roll.”

— Todd Beamer, at the end of a cell phone call before attempting to rush the cabin of United Flight 93 on September 11, 2001.


“The story of life is quicker than a blink of an eye. The story of love is hello and goodbye, until we meet again.”

— The last two lines in a poem found on Jimi Hendrix’s nightstand.


“How did the Mets do today?”

— Moe Berg, MLB catcher and coach.



— Bo Diddley, an American Singer, said the above word and gave a thumbs up while listening to the song “Walk Around Heaven”.


“Damn it! Don’t you dare ask God to help me!”

— American actress, Joan Crawford, to her housekeeper while she was praying over her.


“I’m bored with it all.”

— Sir. Winston Churchill’s last words before slipping into a coma.


“Doctor, if I put this here guitar down now, I ain’t never gonna wake up.”

— Leadbelly, Blues guitarist, to his physician.


“I’ve offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.”

Leonardo Da Vinci, painter (and much much more).


“I hope the exit is joyful and hope never to return.”

— Frida Kahlo, Mexican painter.


“Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough!”

— Karl Marx, German philosopher and sociologist, to his housekeeper asking what his last words were.


“One last drink, please?”

— Jack Daniels, the gent who started a whiskey empire.



— T.S. Eliot, America poet, whispering the name of his wife.


“Where is my clock?”

— Salvador Dali, Spanish Artist.


“Love one another.”

— George Harrison, lead guitarist of The Beatles.


“You are wonderful.”

— Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, British writer and doctor, to his wife.


“I’m about to take my last voyage; a great leap in the dark.”

— Thomas Hobbes, English Philosopher.


“The taste of death is upon my lips, I feel something that is not of this Earth.”

— Mozart, Austrian composer.


“Goodnight, my kitten.”

Ernest Hemingway to his wife before taking a shotgun to his head.


“Why should I talk to you? I’ve just been talking to your boss.”

— Wilson Mizner, American Playwright, to a priest on his deathbed.


“Of course I know who you are. You’re my girl. I love you.”

— John Wayne to his wife.


“Snooks, will you please turn this way. I like to look at your face.”

— American Reporter, O. O. McIntyre, to his wife.


“Bring me a bullet-proof vest.”

— Murderer James W. Rodgers before facing the firing squad.


“Pardonnez-moi, monsieur.”

— Marie Antoinette after stepping on her executioner’s foot before facing the guillotine.


“I’m losing it.”

— Frank Sinatra, American singer-songwriter.


“What the devil do you mean to sing to me, priest? You are out of tune.”

— Composer Jean-Philippe Rameau to a priest trying to sing to him at his bedside.



— Raphael, Italian Painter.


“I want nothing but death.”

— Jane Austen, English Novelist.


“There is nothing proper about what you are doing, soldier, but do try to kill me properly.”

— Roman Statesmen, Cicero, to his assassins sent by mark Anthony.


“This is a hell of a way to die.”

— George Patton, World War II General, after a lethal car crash.


“It’s better to burn out than to fade away.”

— Kurt Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana.


“Relax — this won’t hurt.”

American writer Hunter S. Thompson in the final line of his suicide note.


“I hope I haven’t bored you.”

— Elvis Presley’s last words in the last concert he ever performed.


“My Florida water.”

— American actress Lucille Ball when asked if there was anything she wanted.


“They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.”

— General John Sedgwick reprimanding his men for ducking from a Confederate sniper.


“The ladies have to go first. Goodbye, dearie. I’ll see you later.”

— John Jacob Astor IV (an American businessman, real estate developer, investor, inventor, writer and lieutenant colonel in the Spanish–American War)… to his wife upon giving up his seat in a lifeboat for another lady after the Titanic was struck by an iceberg.


“Give me coffee, I’m going to write.”

— Olavo Bilac, Brazilian Poet.


“I’ve had a hell of a lot of fun and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”

— Errol Flynn, Australian-born actor.


“I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been.”

Virginia Woolf to her husband in her suicide note.


“Take away those pillows I shall need them no more.”

— Lewis Carroll, English writer.


“I’m just going outside and maybe some time.”

— Lawrence Oates, Antarctic Explorer.


“Now comes the mystery.”

— Henry Ward Beecher, American Congregationalist Clergyman.


“The bastards tried to come over me last night. I guess they didn’t know I was a Marine.”

— Private First Class Edward Ahrens, USMC, whispered this as he lay dying from wounds suffered during his single-handed prevention of a breach in American lines during World War II. Ahrens was holding a sword and beside him were multiple slain enemy soldiers.


“This wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. Either it goes or I do.”

— Oscar Wilde, Irish Poet.

What will your last words be?

By Cole Schafer.

Sticky Notes is my email list reserved for entrepreneurs, creatives, marketers, writers and freelancers looking to sell like hell (without losing their soul).

Originally published at on April 15, 2020.

Written by

I write pretty words and sometimes sell things.

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