Last words

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Love is not blind—it sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see less.
Rabbi J. Gordon
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Sorted alphabetically by last name (with some monarchs and leaders sorted by their first names, e.g. William the Silent). This article only refers to last words of persons who actually lived or are believed to have actually lived. Last words of fictional characters can be found in Fictional last words.

A

  • Draw your sword and kill me, so they can't say, 'A woman killed him.'
    • Who: Abimelech. Judge of Israel.
    • Source: Judges 9:50–55
    • Note: Abimelech said these words to his armour bearer during the siege of Thebez after a woman dropped an upper millstone from the wall on his head cracking his skull.


  • Ja, maar niet te veel.
    • Translation: Yes, but not too many
    • Who: Gerrit Achterberg, Dutch poet.
    • Note: Achterberg had just parked his car, when his wife asked: "'Shall I bake some potatoes?'" After answering the question he suffered a fatal heart attack.
  • [Asked by Mrs. Clark if he knew what day it was.]
    "Oh, yes; it is the glorious Fourth of July. It is a great day. It is a good day. God bless it. God bless you all. [He then lapsed into unconsciousness. He awakened later, and mumbled] Thomas Jefferson…"
    • Who: John Adams
    • Note: John Adams died on July 4, 1826. He is often quoted as having said "Thomas Jefferson still survives." with some depictions indicating he might have not expressed the entire statement before dying, i.e.: "Thomas Jefferson… still survi—", but some research indicates that only the words "Thomas Jefferson" were clearly intelligible among his last. Adams did not know that Jefferson, his great political rival—and later friend and correspondent—had died a few hours earlier that same 4th of July, 1826, exactly fifty years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
  • This is the last of Earth! I am content!
    • Who: John Quincy Adams, US President, February 21, 1848.
    • Note: John Quincy Adams died on the floor of the U.S Capitol Building, as he had become a U.S. Representative from the 11th District of Massachusetts after his presidency.
  • See in what peace a Christian can die.
  • Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad (שמע ישראל ה' אלהינו ה' אחד)
    • Translation: Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God! The Lord is One!
    • Who: Rabbi Akiba ben Joseph (Akiva)
    • Note: These words (the Shema, from Deuteronomy 6:4) were stated as R. Akiba was being flayed by a Roman executioner for his continuing to teaching the Torah, despite the Roman prohibition on doing so (Talmud Berachot 61b). Because of R. Akiba, it is customary for Jews to recite the Shema as their last words.
  • You be good. See you tomorrow. I love you.
  • To the strongest!
    • Who: Alexander the Great
    • In response to his generals asking the heirless Alexander which one of them would get control of the empire.
    • Note: When asked on his deathbed who was to succeed him, his voice may have been indistinct. Alexander may have said "Krateros" (the name of one of his generals), but he was not around, and the others may have chosen to hear "Kratistos— the strongest".
  • Home to the palace to die…
    • Who: Alexander II of Russia
    • Note: His guards heard him utter this phrase when they found his maimed body under a seat from his carriage after he was attacked with bombs by anarchists in an assassination attempt. He lost his left leg and was taken home where he died hours after his wound.
  • Waiting, are they? Waiting, are they? Well, let 'em wait!
    • Who: Ethan Allen
    • Note: Stated after Allen was shot and a doctor told him, "General, I fear that the angels are waiting for you."
  • I'm going home, babe.
    • Who: James Allen Red Dog, d. March 3, 1993
    • Note: Executed by injection, Delaware
  • I pray you to bear me witness that I meet my fate like a brave man.
    • Who: Major John André
    • Note: According to James Thatcher's book The American Revolution, André raised the handkerchief from his eyes and said these words when given an opportunity to speak, moments before he was hanged as a British spy.
  • Pardonnez-moi, monsieur. Je ne l'ai pas fait exprès.
    • Translation: Pardon me, sir. I did not do it on purpose.
    • Who: Marie Antoinette
    • Note: As she approached the guillotine, convicted of treason and about to be beheaded, she accidentally stepped on the foot of her executioner.
  • Well, gentlemen, you are about to see a baked Appel.
  • mè mou tous kuklous taratte (Μη μου τους κύκλους τάραττε)
    • Translation: Don't disturb my circles!
    • Alternate: Don't disturb my equation.
    • Who: Archimedes
    • Note: In response to a Roman soldier who was forcing him to report to the Roman general after the capture of Syracuse, while he was busy sitting on the ground proving geometry theorems. The soldier killed him, despite specific instructions not to.
  • Am I dying, or is this my birthday?
    • Who: Lady Nancy Astor
    • Note: In her final illness, she awoke on her deathbed to see her family at her bedside.
  • I want nothing but death.
    • Who: Jane Austen
    • Note: In response to her sister who had asked her if she wanted something.

B

  • Oh God, here I go!
  • Oh, you young people act like old men. You have no fun.
    • Who: Josephine Baker
    • Note: The famed starlet was reportedly attempting to seduce a man several decades younger than she was. She died of a stroke later that night.
  • I'm in the hands of Jesus…
    • Who: Tammy Faye Messner [Bakker]
    • Note: As told by her husband Roe Messner on CNN's Larry King Live. Roe was with Tammy Faye at the moment of her death.
  • I would rather be a servant in the House of the Lord than to sit in the seats of the mighty.
    • Who: Alben W. Barkley, former Vice President of the United States, who suffered a fatal heart attack.
  • How were the receipts today at Madison Square Garden?
  • I can't sleep.
    • Who: J.M. Barrie, author of works including Peter Pan.
  • Die, I should say not, dear fellow. No Barrymore would allow such a conventional thing to happen to him.
  • Now I can cross the Shifting Sands
    • Who: L. Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz
    • Note: Baum was referring to the Shifting Sands, the impassable desert surrounding the Land of Oz.
  • Are you guys ready? Let's roll.
    • Who: Todd Beamer, passenger on United Flight 93, September 11, 2001.
    • Note: These are his last recorded words, coming at the end of a cell phone call before Beamer and others attempted to storm the airliner's cockpit to retake it from hijackers who were part of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The plane crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
  • I am ready to die for my Lord, that in my blood the Church may obtain liberty and peace.
    • Who: Thomas à Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, d.1170
  • Plaudite, amici, comedia finita est.
    • Translation: Applaud, my friends, the comedy is finished.; the formula traditionally used to end a performance of commedia dell'arte.
    • Who: Ludwig van Beethoven
    • Note: His final words are subject to historical debate, and vary with many biographies. Among those that have been reported to be his last words are:
      • I shall hear in Heaven.
      • I feel as if up to now I had written no more than a few notes.
      • (To his friend Johann Hummel, who was at his bedside) Is it not true, Hummel, that I have some talent after all?
      • There, do you hear the bell? Don't you hear it ringing? The curtain must drop. Yes! My curtain is falling.
      • Another biographer has him saying nothing; simply shaking his fists defiantly at the heavens as a thunderstorm raged outside his window.
  • Maybe they only had one rocket
    • Who: Lawrence Beeter, WWII British soldier who was taking cover in a bunker after they were hit by a rocket. A second volley destroyed the bunker and Beeter was killed.
  • No.
    • Who: Alexander Graham Bell
    • Note: While Alexander Graham Bell was dying, his deaf wife whispered to him, "Don't leave me." Bell responded by signing the word, "No."
  • Dêem-me café, vou escrever!
    • Translation: Give me coffee, I'm going to write
    • Who: Olavo Bilac, Brazilian poet
  • A Moi! (French)
    • Translation: Help! Literally: To me!
    • Who: Sophie Blanchard
    • Note: Blanchard, a balloonist, said these words when her balloon crashed, killing her.
  • I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis.
  • France, armée, Joséphine…
  • Ah, that tastes nice. Thank you.
    • Who: Johannes Brahms
    • Note: That line was said after he had a small glass of wine.
  • Tell mother, tell mother, I died for my country. . . . (looks at his hands) useless . . . useless . . .
  • Je vais ou je vas mourir, l'un et l'autre se dit ou se disent. ( French )
    • Translation : I am about to -- or I am going to -- die: either expression is correct.
    • Who: Dominique Bouhours, French grammarian
  • I'm going away tonight….
    • Who: James Brown
    • Source: Charles Bobbit, Brown's longtime personal manager and friend
    • Note: James Brown uttered his last words minutes before his death, and then he took three, long quiet breaths and closed his eyes.
  • I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood. I had, as I now think vainly, flattered myself that without very much bloodshed it might be done.
    • Who: John Brown
    • Note: These words were not spoken, but written on a note and handed to a guard right before his execution.
    • His spoken last words are usually considered to be: This is a beautiful country.
  • Whatever the result may be, I shall carry to my grave the consciousness that at least I meant well for my country.
  • I'd like you to give my love to my family and friends.
    • Who: Ted Bundy
    • Note: Those were Bundy's last words before being executed in the electric chair.
  • On that subject I am coy.
    • Who: Aaron Burr
    • Note: Burr was an atheist. His last words were a response to the efforts of his friend, Reverend P.J. Van Pelt, to get Burr to state the existence of a God.
  • Now I shall go to sleep. Goodnight.
  • By the Lord of the Ka'bah, I have won.
    • Who: Ali ibn Abi Talib after being stabbed, while leading the Morning Prayer, by Ibn Maljam, a fundamentalist.
  • If all the swords in England were pointed against my head, your threats would not move me.

C

  • Acta est fabula, plaudite!
    • Translation: The play is over, applaud!
    • Who: Caesar Augustus
    • Attributed
    • This is the phrase said at the end of Roman plays.
  • 'και συ τεκνον;' (kai su, teknon)
    • Translation: you too, my child?
    • Who: Julius Caesar
    • Note: Et tu, Brute is attributed to him by Shakespeare's famous play; his real last words according to Suetonius, were και συ τεκνον; (pronounced kai su, teknon? the phrase means "you too, my child?" in Greek, though his native tongue was Latin [De Vita Caesarum Liber I Divus Iulius, LXXXII]). In Shakespeare's play, there is actually a little more to the quote. The full quote is: "Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar." The entire quote means "Even [And] you, Brutus? Then all hope is lost and I shall fall." He thought Brutus would be on his side, but, discovering Brutus has stabbed him, gave up all hope of salvation.
  • Vivo!
    • Translation: I live!
    • Who: Caligula (Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus), Roman Emperor, as he was being murdered by his own soldiers (as reported by Roman historian Tacitus).
  • 26th October last year, not 10 metres from where these men are now entombed, you had a 400-tonne rock fall. Why is it, is it the strength of the seam, or the wealth of the seam, that you continue to send men into work in such a dangerous environment?
    • Who: Richard Carleton. During a media conference that was held at Beaconsfield, Tasmania on 7 May 2006, Richard Carleton asked this question to Matthew Gill (mine manager of the Beaconsfield mine), in light of the Beaconsfield mine collapse. Following the question, Carleton walked away and suffered a heart attack; he was pronounced dead on the way to hospital.
  • ¡No abandonéis a mis indios!
    • Translation: Don't abandon my indians!
    • Who: Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Mexican revolutionary, governor of Yucatán (executed)
  • I just wish I had time for one more bowl of chili.
  • We got a bad fire! Let's get out - we're burning up...
    • Who: An Apollo 1 astronaut, probably Roger Chaffee. All three crew members perished in a launchpad fire, 1967.
  • Hello.
    • Who: Graham Chapman, Monty Python's comedian, to his adopted son who had just arrived at the hospital.
  • I go from a corruptible to an incorruptible Crown, where no disturbance can be, no disturbance in the world. Remember!
    • Who: Charles I, King of England, on the executioner's block, 30 January 1649
  • You must pardon me, gentlemen, for being a most unconscionable time a-dying.
  • Ay Jesus.
    • Who: Charles V, King of France, d. 1380
  • I haven't had champagne for a long time.
    • Who: Anton Chekhov, playwright, 1904. A sanitarium nurse gave him champagne to ease his death from tuberculosis.
  • Take a step forward lads - it'll be easier that way.
  • The Earth is suffocating… Swear to make them cut me open, so that I won't be buried alive.
  • 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.
    • Who: 30-year-old anchorwoman Christine Chubbuck, who, on July 15, 1974, during technical difficulties during a broadcast, said these words on-air before producing a revolver and shooting herself in the head (While she drew the gun on camera, the technicians quickly cut the video feed, but the gunshot could be clearly heard). She was pronounced dead in hospital fourteen hours later.
  • I'm bored with it all.
  • So here it is!
    • Who: Cleopatra
    • Note: "It" was the small asp which she allowed to bite her.
  • I have tried so hard to do right.
  • Thank God. I'm tired of being the funniest person in the room.
    • Who: Del Close, improviser, teacher and comedian, died 1999
  • Since the day of my birth, my death began its walk. It is walking towards me, without hurrying.
  • Can you get a shot of this gun?
    • Who: Harry Collinson, Chief Planning Officer for Derwentside District Council.
    • Note: On 20 June 1991, Collinson was supervising the demolition of a bungalow built by Albert Dryden without planning permission. Dryden produced an unlicensed pistol; Collinson was inviting a BBC camera crew that were present to focus on it. Seconds later Dryden shot Collinson, and subsequently hit the BBC reporter and a policeman. Dryden was subsequently found guilty of murder and sentenced to life.
  • More Weight.
    • Who: Giles Corey, while being crushed during the Salem witch trials because he would not answer the court.
  • Lady, you shot me!
    • Who: Sam Cooke, after being shot in his hotel room.
  • Good morning, Robert.
  • I am guilty. My sentence is just: I deserve my fate. And may God have mercy on my soul.
    • Who: William Corder, moments before he was hanged on August 11, 1828, for the murder of Maria Marten at the Red Barn.
  • Wie bent u?
    • Translation: Who are you?.
    • Who: Count of Nychlenborch, Frisian freedom fighter.
    • Note: After being stabbed in the chest near the heart-area by unknown assassins, the old count asked who did it; on which the assassin replied: Death.
  • Goodnight, my darlings, I'll see you tomorrow.
    • Who: Noel Coward, playwright. Died of natural causes.
  • Dammit…Don't you dare ask God to help me.
    • Who: Joan Crawford. This comment was directed towards her housekeeper who began to pray aloud.
  • That was a great game of golf, fellers.
    • Who: Bing Crosby. He was playing the whole 18 holes of golf (even when his doctor said to only do nine). 20 minutes after the game, he suffered a fatal heart attack.
  • I am confound.
  • (also quoted as I am perplexed.)
    • Who: Aleister Crowley. British occultist, mystic, poet, mountain climber.
    • This is open to debate, because some sources report Crowley dying alone. [1] [2]
  • That was the best ice-cream soda I ever tasted.
  • Hurrah Boys! Let's get these last few reds then head on back to camp. Hurrah!
    • Who: George Armstrong Custer (attributed)
    • Note: This is what he believed, Custer had the upper hand from the start but then he was closed in on by a much larger force.
  • I killed the President because he was the enemy of the good people, the good working people. I am not sorry for my crime.
  • (through clenched teeth) I am sorry I could not see my father.
    • Who: Leon Czolgosz, assassin of US President, William McKinley, electrocuted in 1901.
    • Note: He said the second line as he was being strapped on the electric chair.

D

  • I don't care if I live or die. Go ahead and kill me.
    • Who: Jeffrey Dahmer, Serial Killer
    • Note: According to fellow prisoner Christopher Scarver, who admitted to beating Dahmer to death with a "preacher bar" (part of a weight machine), these were his last words.
  • That guy's got to stop… He'll see us.
    • Who: James Dean
    • Note: Words said before dying in a car accident.
  • On the ground!
    • Who: Charles Dickens
    • Note: He suffered a stroke on a walk near his home, and asked to be laid down on the ground.
  • But how the devil do you think this could harm me?.
    • Who: Denis Diderot, French encyclopedist, upon being warned by his wife not to eat too much.
  • Little Cousins, Called back.
    • Who: Emily Dickinson. Letter to Louise and Frances Norcross, May 1886.
    • Source: Johnson, Thomas H., ed. Emily Dickinson Selected Letters. Cambridge: Belknap, 1971.
  • Wow!
    • Who: Bo Diddley as he lay dying on his deathbed with his family surrounding him.
  • Hit the water!…Hit the water!…Hit the water!…
    • Who: Jane Dornacker as she was giving a traffic report for radio station WNBC via helicopter. The helicopter stalled and plummeted into the Hudson River while Jane was still on the air, unintentionally broadcasting her final moments all across the metropolitan New York City area.
  • Shakespeare, I come!
  • Remember, the death penalty is murder.
    • Who: Robert Drew, d. August 2, 1994
    • Note: Executed by injection, Texas
  • Adieu, mes amis, Je vais à la gloire!
    • Translation: "Farewell my friends, I go to glory!"
    • Who: Isadora Duncan
    • Note: Said before she got in her car to go home. Her scarf got caught around the wheel and strangled her instantly as the driver took off.
  • Please leave the room if this will offend you. No, no! Don't! Don't! Don't! Stay back! This could hurt someone!
    • Who: R. Budd Dwyer, Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, before he placed the barrel of a .357 Magnum revolver into his mouth and pulled the trigger in front of TV news cameras that were videotaping what was originally presumed to be a press conference (Dwyer had been found guilty of accepting bribes, and professed his innocence to the literal last moments of his life. The press conference was held on what was to be the day before his sentencing).
    • Note: Because his last words are spoken over the shouts of horrified news reporters and Dwyer's own staff, his last words are not clearly heard on the videotape. They are also quoted as: "Stay back, this thing will hurt someone!", "Listen! This'll hurt someone!" or "Listen! This is gonna hurt someone!".

E

  • KHAQQ calling Itasca. We must be on you but cannot see you. Gas is running low.
    • Who: Amelia Earhart
    • Note: Earhart famously disappeared on a flight over the Pacific. The above is the last confirmed radio transmission to her headquarters before vanishing.
  • It's very beautiful over there.
    • Who: Thomas Edison
    • Note: Spoken to his wife as he lapsed in and out of consciousness. There is debate over if he meant the afterlife, or the view from his window.
  • In einem kurzen Weilchen, meine Herren, sehen wir uns ohnehin alle wieder. Das ist das Los aller Menschen. Es lebe Deutschland. Es lebe Argentinien. Es lebe Österreich. […] Ich werde sie nicht vergessen.
    • Translation: In a short while, gentlemen, we´ll meet each other, anyway. That´s every human´s fortune. Long live Germany! Long live Argentina! Long live Austria! […] I won´t forget you.
    • Who: Adolf Eichmann
    • Note: Before his execution at the 1st of June 1962 in Jerusalem
  • Citater fra...
    • Who: Albert Einstein
    • Note: When Einstein died on April 18, 1955 he left a piece of writing ending in an unfinished sentence. These were his last words:
      • In essence, the conflict that exists today is no more than an old-style struggle for power, once again presented to mankind in semireligious trappings. The difference is that, this time, the development of atomic power has imbued the struggle with a ghostly character; for both parties know and admit that, should the quarrel deteriorate into actual war, mankind is doomed. Despite this knowledge, statesmen in responsible positions on both sides continue to employ the well-known technique of seeking to intimidate and demoralize the opponent by marshaling superior military strength. They do so even though such a policy entails the risk of war and doom. Not one statesman in a position of responsibility has dared to pursue the only course that holds out any promise of peace, the course of supranational security, since for a statesman to follow such a course would be tantamount to political suicide. Political passions, once they have been fanned into flame, exact their victims ... Citater fra...
  • I've always loved my wife, my children, and my grandchildren, and I've always loved my country. I want to go. God, take me.
  • Are you alright?
    • Who: Belinda Emmett, Australian actress
    • Note: Spoken to her sister, Lesley Arthur.
  • Hurrah for anarchy! This is the happiest moment of my life.
    • Who: George Engel, anarchist, union activist
    • Note: Shouted before his execution at the gallows.
  • Now why did I do that?
  • Ich sterbe.
    • Translation: I'm dying.
    • Who: Leonhard Euler, Swiss mathematician and physicist

F

  • I've never felt better.
    • Who: Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., actor, d. December 12, 1939
  • [Being asked: "Have you ever pondered by yourself what will be your occupation in the next world?".]
    I shall be with Christ, and that is enough.
  • Please don't leave me. Please don't leave me.
    • Who: Chris Farley
    • Said to a prostitute as she left his hotel room following a weekend-long drug and sex binge. When she turned around, Chris Farley had collapsed.
  • Es ist gar nichts… es ist gar nichts…
    • Translation: It's nothing… it's nothing…
    • Who: Franz Ferdinand Archduke of Austria
    • Whispered to Count Harrach as the Archduke fell unconscious after being shot; he died shortly without ever regaining consciousness
  • Fräls mig!
    • Translation: Save me! or rather Give me salvation
    • Who: Count Axel von Fersen.
      • Note: Fersen, who was Swedish marshal of the realm, was attacked in a mob riot during the burial procession of the crown prince, whose death wrongly was blamed on Fersen. The Count called for help from the Guard, but was killed before they could do anything.
  • The nourishment is palatable.
    • Who: Former US President Millard Fillmore
    • Notes: This was his response when his physician inquired about his food.
  • Nothing soothes pain like human touch.
    • Who: Chess Grandmaster Bobby Fischer
    • Notes: Said while dying of kidney failure.
  • If any of you have a message for the Devil, give it to me, for I am about to meet him!
    • Lavinia Fisher, hanged for murder on February 18, 1820, while wearing her white wedding dress gown.[3]
  • I love you. Spoken to the executioner. Executed by injection, New York.
    • Who: Sean Flannagan, d. June 23, 1989
  • Hey, Jimmie! The Chimney Sweeps. Talk to the Sword. Shut up, you got a big mouth! Please come help me up, Henny. Max come over here… French Canadian bean soup…I want to pay, let them leave me alone…
    • Who: Arthur Flegenheimer, mobster, also known as Dutch Schultz.
    • Notes: Flegenheimer had been fatally shot by another mobster and taken to the hospital. As police officers interrogated him on his deathbed, he gave them long and frequently incoherent answers before finally dying.
  • I've had a hell of a lot of fun and I've enjoyed every minute of it.
  • You can stop now; I'm already dead.
    • Who: Abigail Folger
      • Note: Folger said this to her attackers, members of the Manson Family, after being stabbed repeatedly in the home of her friend Sharon Tate. Folger had first been injured in the house before running to the front lawn and collapsing, where she said her last words and died while being continually stabbed.
  • A dying man can do nothing easily.
    • Who: Benjamin Franklin
      • Note: As he lay dying, his daughter suggested that if he lay on his side, he could breathe easier.
  • Throw a quilt over her.
  • Das gute Essen
    • Translation: The good meal
    • Who: Fredrik I of Sweden
      • Note: He probably meant the Holy Communion although one of the king's favourite activities was to eat.
  • Hey, fellas! How about this for a headline for tomorrow's paper? 'French Fries'!
    • Who: James French.
    • Notes: French, a convicted murderer, was sentenced to the electric chair. He shouted these words to members of the press who were to witness his execution.
  • Das ist absurd! Das ist absurd!
    • Translation: This is absurd! This is absurd!
    • Who: Sigmund Freud

G

  • Kiss my ass.
    • Who: John Wayne Gacy
    • Note: Those were Gacy's last words before being executed by lethal injection.
  • I'd like to thank my family for loving me and taking care of me. And the rest of the world can kiss my ass.
    • Who: Johnny Frank Garrett, Sr., d. February 11, 1992
    • Note: Executed by injection, Texas.
  • Hero! A real hero!
    • Who: Genghis Khan
    • Note: Those were presumably Genghis Khan last words according to legend.
  • Ne pleure pas, Alfred ! J'ai besoin de tout mon courage pour mourir à vingt ans !
    • Translation: Don't cry, Alfred! I need all my courage to die at twenty!
    • Who: Mathematician Evariste Galois
    • Notes: Spoken to his brother Alfred after being fatally wounded in a duel.
  • Don't worry, relax!
    • Who: Rajiv Gandhi, Indian Prime Minister, to his security staff minutes before being killed by a suicide bomber attack.
  • Hé Ram!
    • Translation: This is an exclamation to Ram (or Rama), who in Hindu traditions is one of the manifestations of Vishnu. Hé Ram means "O! lord Ram!". (This is invoking the name of Rama, rather than an expression of surprise)
    • Who: Mohandas Gandhi.
    • Note: These words were reportedly spoken after Gandhi had been shot. According to his assassin Godse, Gandhi just made a “Uh …” kind of sound and slid down and the above words were inserted by the Congress.
  • [To his chief of staff, David G. Swaim] Oh Swaim, there is a pain here. Swaim, can't you stop this? Oh, oh, Swaim!
  • Ça fait mal là or Ça fait mal ici
  • Let's do it!
    • Who: Gary Gilmore
    • Before his execution by firing squad in Utah on January 17, 1977. This was first execution in the United States after 10-years moratorium
  • I'd rather be fishing
    • Who: Jimmy Glass
    • Before his execution in Louisiana electric chair, 1887
  • Mehr Licht.
    • Translation: More light.
    • Who: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    • It is also reported that "Come my little one, and give me your hand." were the last words he declared to his daughter-in-law Ottilie.
    • Another version reported is "Nichts mehr" (nothing more)
  • No! I didn't come here to make a speech. I came here to die.
    • Who: Crawford Goldsby, aka Cherokee Bill, when asked if he had anything to say before he was hanged.
  • Bakayaro! Bakayaro!
    • Translation: Stupid Bastards! Stupid Bastards!
    • Who: Admiral Aritomo Gotō's last words to his staff, October 11, 1942
  • 'I really need a therapist'
    • Who: Christopher Grace, an actor who killed himself during a matinee performance of Grease.
  • I did not get my Spaghetti-O's, I got spaghetti. I want the press to know this.
    • Who: Thomas J. Grasso, d. March 20, 1995
    • Note: Executed by injection, Oklahoma.
  • I know you are here to kill me. Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man."
"Know this now, you are killing a man."
These reportedly were his last words, spoken to Sergeant Jaime Terán, who in different accounts had either volunteered to be his executioner, or been selected by lot. Because of the many different reports that have arisen, much confusion and uncertainty exists about his actual last words. His last words to Colonel Arnaldo Saucedo Parada, head of intelligence of the Eighth Division who delivered the official report on Che's final moments were reported as: "I knew you were going to shoot me; I should never have been taken alive. Tell Fidel that this failure does not mean the end of the revolution, that it will triumph elsewhere. Tell Aleida to forget this, remarry and be happy, and keep the children studying. Ask the soldiers to aim well." Some also report his final words as those he reportedly declared when he surrendered: "Don't shoot, I am Che Guevara and I am worth more to you alive than dead." At one point early in the confusions General Ovando, Chief of Bolivian Armed Forces, declared that he had died in battle, and that just before he dying he had declared: "I am Che Guevara and I have failed" these are sometimes accepted as his last words, though subsequent reports have generally discredited that initial account.
  • Summary of various accounts of Che Guevara's Death at George Washington University
  • Apparently, this news is meant to mislead us.
    • These are actually his last written words: They are the last paragraph of Che's last writing, "Bolivian Diary", which is the log Che kept during the Bolivian operations. Che is referring to information that he had about the ambush that the Bolivian army had prepared, and during which Che was arrested.
  • Glory hallelujah! I am with the Lord, Glory, ready, go!
    • Who: Charles Guiteau, assassin of US President James A. Garfield hanged in 1882
  • Nobody shot me.
    • Who: Frank "Tight Lips" Gusenberg, American mobster murdered as part of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.
      • Note: In response to a police officer who asked "Who shot you?"
  • ...and now for a final word from our sponsor...
    • Who: Charles Gussman, a television writer who wrote for the soap opera Days of Our Lives.
  • Ich bin der König von Schweden - gewesen.
    • Translation: I have been the king of Sweden. Note: The German perfect of "be," "I have been," is constructed with a finite form of "be" (here "bin") and its participle ("gewesen"). Without "gewesen" at the end, one would translate "I am the king of Sweden." Thus the weight of the sentence rests on an untranslatable bit of grammatical cleverness. A roughly equivalent English phrasing would be "I am the king of Sweden… no more".
    • Who: Gustavus II Adolphus of Sweden
      • Note: Said to an imperial soldier at the battle of Lützen.
  • Jag känner mig sömnig, ett kort ögonblicks vila skulle göra mig gott.
    • Translation: I feel tired, a short time of rest would do me good.
    • Who: Gustavus III of Sweden. He had been shot at a masquerade ball two weeks earlier.
  • Yes, it's tough, but not as tough as doing comedy.
    • Who: Edmund Gwenn, actor, d. September 6, 1959
      • Note: When asked if he thought dying was tough.

H

  • Lat det være, Marie, - jeg dør nu.
    • Translation: Leave it be, Marie - I'm dying now.
    • Note: To his wife, Marie, when she attempts to correct his pillow. Knut Hamsun slept the last two days of his life, with his wife by his side.
    • Who: Knut Hamsun
  • I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.
    • Who: Nathan Hale, American spy, hanged in 1776, according to the account by William Hull based on reports by John Montresor. This has also been quoted as: I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country. Some speculation exists that he might have been repeating or paraphrasing lines from Joseph Addison's play Cato: What pity is it that we can die but once to serve our country.
  • Southerly gales, squalls, lee rail under water, wet bunks, hard tack, bully beef, wish you were here — instead of me!
    • Who: Richard Halliburton, last known communication from the Chinese junk Sea Dragon at sea, March 23 1939
  • This is a mortal wound, doctor. And then, to his wife, Remember my Eliza you are a Christian.
  • Liberemus diuturna cura populum Romanum, quando mortem senis exspectare longum censent.
    • Translation: Let us ease the Roman people of their continual care, who think it long to await the death of an old man.
    • Who: Hannibal
  • That's good. Read some more.
    • Who: Warren G. Harding, to his wife, who was reading him flattering newspaper accounts.
  • You can be a king or a street sweeper, but everyone dances with the Grim Reaper.
    • Who: Robert Alton Harris, d. April 21, 1992
  • Love one another.
    • Who: George Harrison, to his family on his death bed while dying from cancer, November 29, 2001.
  • Gentlemen, I bid you farewell…
    • Who: Wallace Hartley, to his fellow band mates before the Titanic sank, April 15, 1912.
    • Note: One survivor who clambered aboard Collapsible A distinctly heard Hartley say these words before he and the band were swept off the deck by the sea.
  • Children be comforted, I am well.
    • Who: Joseph Haydn
    • Note: Haydn's last words, as Napoleon's troops lay siege upon Vienna.
  • Only one man ever understood me. … And he didn't understand me..
  • Dieu me pardonnera, c'est son métier.
    • Translation: God will forgive me. It is his profession.
    • Who: Heinrich Heine
  • Turn up the lights— I don't want to go home in the dark.
    • Who: O. Henry (William Sydney Porter), June 5, 1910
  • All is lost! Monks, Monks, Monks! So, now all is gone - Empire, Body, and Soul!.
  • I am innocent, innocent, innocent. Make no mistake about this. I owe society nothing. I am an innocent man and something very wrong is taking place tonight.
    • Who: Lionel Herrera d. May 12, 1993
    • Note: Executed by injection, Texas.
  • And now, I am officially dead.
    • Who: Abram S. Hewitt, industrialist. He had just removed the oxygen tube from his mouth in the hospital.
  • Goodbye.
    • Who: Jared High, shot himself while on phone with his father. He was a victim of bullying.
  • Goodbye Bill. I die like a true blue rebel. Don't waste any time in mourning. Organize.
    • Who: Joe Hill, in a letter to Bill Haywood, leader of the Industrial Workers of the World, before he was led to his execution by firing squad.
    • It should be noted, however, that after he heard the words of the executioner, "Ready... aim..." Hill shouted out his actual final word as a command: Fire! [4]
  • Leave the shower curtain on the inside of the tub.
    • Who: Conrad Hilton when asked if he had any last words of wisdom.
  • Ich bin Heinrich Himmler.
  • I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark.
    • Who: Thomas Hobbes, writer, d. 1679
  • This is funny.
    • Who: Doc Holliday
    • Doc Holliday was a consumptive gunfighter. He always thought, and perhaps hoped, that he would die in a fight or "with his boots on". He died in a hotel bed from tuberculosis. These last words were uttered after seeing his feet with boots off.
  • I'm tired of fighting! I guess this thing is going to get me.
    • Who: Harry Houdini
    • Houdini is often said to have died after being punched in the stomach before having a chance to tighten his abdominal muscles. This is a fabrication. Houdini WAS punched in the stomach, however doctors agree such a blow could not have caused his appendix to burst, which is what happened and is the cause of his death.
  • C'est ici le combat du jour et de la nuit. Je vois de la lumière noire.
    • Translation: Now day and night are locked in combat. I see black light.
    • Who: Victor Hugo
  • When I hear that a man is religious, I conclude he is a rascal!
  • Ashhadu an la ilaha ill-Allah, wa Muhammadu… (I swear that there is no God but God and Muhammad… [is his prophet]) which is the Shahadah, the Muslim affirmation of faith.
    • Who: Saddam Hussein
    • Saddam's last words at gallows when the trap door was released. He was hanged before he could finish the prayer. [5]
    • Apart from this prayer, his last words were Heya hay il marjala…? (Is this your manhood…?) responding to the shoutings of the hooded hangmen, “Muqtada, Muqtada, Muqtada,” in reference to Muqtada al-Sadr, the powerful and radical Shi'ite cleric who is a major power behind Shi’ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki [6]
    • Others have accounted his last words were Go to hell! and Palestine is Arab!.
  • LSD, 100 micrograms I.M.
    • Who: Aldous Huxley in a note to his wife. She obliged and he was injected twice before his death.

I

  • Tvert imot!
    • Translation: On the contrary!
    • Who: Henrik Ibsen
    • context: This was his response to a nurse who told a visitor he was a little better.
  • I have to set my pillows one more night, when will this end already?
    • Who: Washington Irving - American author
    • context: said to his niece as he readied himself for bed, whereupon he suffered a stroke and collapsed at the age of 70.

J

  • Oh, do not cry - be good children and we will all meet in heaven.
  • Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees.
    • Who: General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson
    • Jackson was accidentally shot by his own men and, weakened by the injury, died from pneumonia.
  • That picture is awful dusty.
    • Who: Jesse James
    • While in his home, James climbed on a chair to dust a framed picture hanging on the wall. When he turned around, he was shot in the back of the head by Robert Ford, his former associate.
  • I am dying. Please…bring me a toothpick.
  • "Is it the Fourth?" [Doctor Robley Dunglison: "It soon will be."] "I resign my spirit to God, my daughter to my country."
    • Who: Thomas Jefferson
    • Jefferson died on July 4, 1826. This was the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the American Declaration of Independence, which was written mostly by Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson's great political rival, John Adams—later a correspondent and friend—died the same day a few hours later.
  • Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.
    • Who: Jesus of Nazareth. Last words according to Luke 23:46 : "And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost." (KJV)
    • It is finished.
      • Last words according to John 19:30 : "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up his spirit." (KJV)
    • Eloi, Eloi, lama sabacthani? (God, God, why have you forsaken me?)
      • The last words (among very few) that are preserved of the Aramaic which Jesus spoke, and the last recorded words prior to his death in the books of Mark and Matthew. (Mark 15:34 & Matthew 27:46)
  • Send Mike immediately!
    • Who: Lyndon Johnson
    • context: to a Secret Service agent over an in-house telephone
  • This is it! I'm going. I'm going.
  • HMO's are in it for the money. Live free, love safe or die.
    • Who: Daniel V. Jones, on a banner he presented on a Los Angeles freeway shortly before shooting himself on live television in May 1998. Jones had previously expressed resentment at his HMO for their inadequate treatment of his cancer and HIV-infection.
  • Vicisti, Galilæe
    • Translation: You have won, O Galilean
    • Who: Emperor Julian, having attempted to reverse the official endorsement of Christianity by the Roman Empire. Apocryphal.

K

  • I hope the exit is joyful and hope never to return.
    • Who: Frida Kahlo
      • This statement suggests that Kahlo committed suicide.



  • Don't worry…it's not loaded…
    • Who: Terry Kath, rock musician in the band Chicago
    • context: As he put the gun he was cleaning to his head and pulled the trigger. Though the gun had no magazine in it, Kath was unaware that a bullet was already in the chamber; he was killed instantly.
  • Ille facit.
    • Translation: He will do it.
    • Who: Karl IX of Sweden
      • Note: Said about his son, Gustavus Adolphus the Great, who made Sweden a great power.
  • Herre Jesus, anamma min ande.
    • Translation: Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
    • Who: Karl XI of Sweden
  • Var intet rädd.
    • Translation: Fear nothing.
    • Who: Karl XII of Sweden
      • Note: Said to his officers when they expressed concern about him being in the trenches under the siege of Fredriksten. Minutes later he was killed.
  • Oscar, Oscar, nous nous défendrons.
    • Translation: Oscar, Oscar, we shall defend ourselves.
    • Who: Karl XIV Johan of Sweden-Norway
      • Note: Said to his son, crown prince Oscar.
  • Kommer jag att plågas mycket?
    • Translation: Will I be in much pain?
    • Who: Karl XV of Sweden-Norway
  • Walter Pidgeon.
    • Who: English actor Boris Karloff
      • These were the final words he was heard to speak as he drifted in and out of sleep on his final day. It confused and distressed his wife Evie, since Karloff hadn't mentioned Pidgeon in years.
  • Ah well I suppose it has come to this… Such is life.
    • Who: Australian bush ranger Ned Kelly as he was hanged in the Melbourne Jail on November 11th 1880.
  • I wish I could go with you.
    • Who: Walt Kelly, Cartoonist
      • Spoken to his wife, Selby Kelly, as she visited him in the hospital. According to her, he was lapsing in and out of consciousness. She told him she was going for coffee, unaware if he could hear her, and he said those words. She stayed by his side until he died from diabetes complications.
  • No, you certainly can't.
    • Who: John F. Kennedy
    • context: This was said in reply to Nellie Connally, wife of Governor John Connelly, commenting "You certainly can't say that the people of Dallas haven't given you a nice welcome, Mr. President."[7]
  • Is everyone else alright ?
    • Who: Robert F. Kennedy
    • context: whispered to his wife directly after he was shot and seconds before he fell into a coma. He died in the early morning hours of the next day.
  • I'll be in Hell before you start breakfast! Let her rip!
    • Who: Tom "Black Jack" Ketchum, notorious train robber
    • context: Said after springing up the gallow steps to his execution; the rope was too long, and he was decapitated. [8][9]
  • Minä elän.
    • Translation: I'm alive. (Literally: I live)
    • Who: Aleksis Kivi

L

  • "I wish I was skiing." [Nurse: "Oh, Mr. Laurel, do you ski?"] "No, but I'd rather be skiing than doing what I'm doing."
  • Beautiful.
    • Who: Timothy Leary He also is known to have repeatedly said "Why Not" with various inflections prior to this, and these are often reported as his final words.
  • They won't think anything about it.
    • Who: Abraham Lincoln
    • Note: Lincoln was reassuring his wife that it would be all right to hold hands just before John Wilkes Booth snuck into the box and shot him from behind.
  • Yeah.
    • Who: John Lennon, whilst sitting in the back of a police car on the way to the hospital after the officers had asked him if he was John Lennon.
  • I think I'm going to make it!
    • Who: Richard Loeb, half of the famous murderers Leopold and Loeb; said after being slashed ninety times with a razor by a fellow inmate.
  • Allah, save this country! Pakistan zindabad!
    • Who: Liaquat Ali Khan, first Prime Minister of Pakistan, spoke to the nation after being shot.
    • Translation: "Pakistan zindabad" means "Long live Pakistan."
  • Opfer müssen gebracht werden!
    • Translation: Sacrifices must be made!
    • Who: Otto Lilienthal pioneer of human aviation, after on 9 August 1896 a gust of wind fractured his wing and he fell from a height of 17 m (56 ft), breaking his spine.
  • The bastards got me, but they won't get everybody.
  • Don't let me die, I have got so much to do.
    • Who: Huey Long, "The Kingfish", American politician, Governor of and Senator from Louisiana
  • Je m'en vais, mais l'État demeurera toujours.
    • Translation: I am going, but the State shall always remain.
    • Who: Louis XIV of France
      • Note: Another biographer has him saying "Why do you weep. Did you think I was immortal?".
  • 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.
    • Who: Louis XVI of France, d. January 21, 1793
    • Note: Executed by guillotine
  • A King should die standing.
    • Who: Louis XVIII, King of France, d. 1824
  • Never drive at night.
    • Who: Joseph Lucas, "The Prince of Darkness", Founder of Lucas Industries, manufacturer of automotive electrical components such as alternators, headlights, etc. which were notorious for unreliability in the early days of automotive engineering.

M

  • Money can't buy life.
  • I forgive everyone, beg that everyone forgives me as well, and wish that my blood, that is going to be shed now, will benefit the country. Long live Mexico! Long live Independence.
  • Nothing matters. Nothing matters.
    • Who: Louis B. Mayer, film producer, d. October 29, 1957
  • I have had a happy life and thank the Lord. Goodbye and may God bless all!
    • Who: Chris McCandless, American wanderer and subject of the book Into the Wild. He wrote a final note on a page from Louis L'Amour's book, Education of a Wandering Man, before dying of starvation on August 18th, 1992.
  • Daddy flight, save your auxiliary tanks.
    • Who: Fighter ace Thomas McGuire
      • Note: he attempted to dogfight a Japanese Nakajima Ki-43 fighter aircraft on low altitude having failed to dump his aircraft's auxiliary tanks, with disastrous results - his aircraft stalled and crashed due to extra weight of the tanks.
  • Good-bye, good-bye all. It's God's way. His will, not ours, be done.
    • Who: William McKinley, 25th President of the United States, assassinated in 1901
  • We are holding our own.
    • Who: Ernest M. McSorley
      • Note: McSorley was captain of the 729-foot Great Lakes freighter Edmund Fitzgerald, which was in a storm on Lake Superior. Soon after he said these words, the ship sank and all twenty-nine men aboard were killed.
  • [Niece: "What is the matter, Uncle James?"] Nothing more than a change of mind, my dear. I always talk better lying down.
  • Mozart! Mozart!
  • In this way that the God of Israel reveals to me from the highest skies!
    • Who: Francisco Maldonado, a Jewish surgeon and writer killed during the Peruvian Inquisition.
      • Note: On the day of his execution, a great storm devastated Lima.
      • The Jewish Encyclopedia gives his last words as, This is the will of the Lord. I shall see the God of Israel face to face.[10]
  • Cheerio!
  • I feel ill. Call the doctors.
  • Die, my dear? Why, that's the last thing I'll do!
  • Go on, get out! Last words are for fools who haven't said enough!
    • Who: Karl Marx, asked by his housekeeper what his last words were
  • When I am dead, you will find Philip and Calais engraved on my heart.
  • It's all been rather lovely.
  • I don't think they even heard me.
    • Who: Yukio Mishima (pseudonym of Kimitake Hiraoka), moments before committing ritual suicide (seppuku)
      • Note: He had addressed the garrison at the Eastern Command of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (while his followers held the Commander hostage), encouraging them to launch a military coup and restore the Emperor to his rightful place. They responded with mocking jeers. Mishima shouted "Long Live the Emperor!" three times, went back inside, and spoke his last words under his breath.
  • It tastes bad.
    • Margaret Mitchell, upon being given a drink of orange juice while convalescing in a hospital.
  • Why should I talk to you? I've just been talking with your boss.
  • Say good-bye to Pat, say good-bye to Jack and say good-bye to yourself, because you're a nice guy.
  • I'm glad that's over.
    • Eric Morecambe, after going off stage after a solo performance at Stan Stennett's theatre, Tewkesbury, May 28, 1984.
  • Lord, if I have done well, You know it; and if badly, I take refuge in Your infinite mercy.
  • I'm sorry, Dan. What's right isn't always popular, and what's popular isn't always right. My decision is final.
    • Who: George Moscone, liberal mayor of San Francisco, refusing to re-appoint conservative politician Dan White to the city's Board of Supervisors. White immediately shot and killed Moscone.
  • Sparami nel petto!
    • Translate: Shoot me in the chest!
    • Who: Benito Mussolini just as he was shot by a partisan leader.
  • Well, this is certainly a pleasant surprise.
    • Who: Andrew Mutton. (A mobster whose car was riddled with starter motor problems, remarked to his associate when the car started successfully first go. Moments later a bomb rigged to the ignition exploded, killing Andrew and wounding his associate)
  • Don't make a mess of it - shoot straight, you bastards.
    • Who: Harry Morant
    • Note: Morant was courtmartialed and executed by the British, charged with killing Boer prisoners. To the end he claimed to have been following orders.
  • We all get the same amount of ice. The rich get it in the summer. The poor get it in the winter.
  • In manus tuas domine confido spiritum meum.
  • I should have asked for a stunt double!
    • Who: Vic Morrow
    • Morrow said this before filming a challenging scene for "Twilight Zone: The Movie" with a helicopter. During filming, the helicopter lost control, and fell on the actors. He and one of the two children were decapitated while the other was crushed by the falling helicopter.
  • The taste of death is upon my lips…I feel something, that is not of this earth.
  • With the supreme communion in Paradise, with those upon whom God has showered his favor, the prophets and the saints and the martyrs and the righteous, most excellent for communion are they. O Allah, with the supreme communion; O Allah, with the supreme communion; O Allah, with the supreme communion.
  • "I shall overlive my executioner"
    • Who: Omar Mukhtar (also Omar al Mukhtar), Leader of the Libyan Resistance before being hanged by the Italian fascist Army in Libya, (16 September 1931).

N

  • Thank God I have done my duty…Drink drink, fan fan, rub rub.
    • Who: British Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson; This is recorded definitively in an account by Nelson's ship surgeon, Dr William Beatty. That Nelson said "Kiss me, Hardy" in his last hours, after being mortally wounded is extensively documented in contemporary accounts, including that of people actually present. That they were not his actual last words is also extensively documented, though not as clearly in many popular accounts, and they have commonly been mistaken as being his last words. (for more on this see: Talk:Horatio Nelson) The latter clause mentions how hot and thirsty he was when dying.
  • Nei myn Hear ta
    • Translation: To my Lord.
    • Who: Pier Gerlofs Donia, legendary Frisian freedom fighter and giant folk hero
    • Note: After an old enemy of Pier Gerlofs asked him where he'd want to go in afterlife, he answered in Frisian that he wanted to go to his Lord in Heaven. After he'd said this, his condition got worse and he passed away.
  • Sero. Haec est fides.
    • Translation: It is too late. This is fidelity.
    • Who: Nero, Roman emperor.
    • Some accounts also have his last words as being "What an artist that dies in me"
    • Note: This was said when after he commited suicide he saw a guard, who may have been part of the assasination, running toward him thinking he was coming to rescue him.
  • Tomorrow, I shall no longer be here.

O

  • I am just going outside. I may be some time.
    • Who: Captain Lawrence Oates, on Robert Falcon Scott's ill-fated Antarctic expedition, while suffering from frostbite and sheltering from a blizzard, Oates felt he was decreasing his companions' chances of survival. Oates voluntarily left the tent; it was his 32nd birthday. He was never seen again.
  • Más totopos.
    • Translation: More totopos.
    • Who: Álvaro Obregón, Mexican politician.
    • Obregón was sitting in a restaurant, and is said to have asked for more totopos (tortilla chips) a few seconds before being shot.
  • ¿Para qué? Estoy bien al nivel de los fusiles..
    • Translation: Why? I'm right at the height of the rifles.
    • Who: Melchor Ocampo, Mexican politician, known for his anticlerical ideas
    • Ocampo was rounded up by conservative rebels and sentenced to death. He spoke these words after his executioner ordered him to kneel.
  • This isn't Hamlet, you know. It's not meant to go into the bloody ear.
    • Who: Actor Laurence Olivier supposedly said this when a nurse, attempting to moisten his lips, mis-aimed.
    • Note: In Shakespeare's play Hamlet, the title character's father is killed when poison is dripped into his ear while asleep.
  • Born in a hotel room, and Gal darn, died in one!

P

  • I will see you tomorrow, if God wills it.
  • Amen
  • Is it safe?
    • Who: William Palmer (before stepping on the gallows trap)
  • Let me have none of your popish stuff. Get away with you. Good morning.
    • Who: Thomas Paine, pamphleteer, revolutionary, radical and intellectual. Author of Common Sense, The Rights of Man and The American Crisis.
    • Note: Spoken to two clergymen who were trying to lead the famous Freethinker in a deathbed conversion. [11]
      • Also quoted as: I have no wish to believe on that subject.
  • Hurry up, you Hoosier bastard, I could kill ten men while you're fooling around!.
    • Who: Carl Panzram, serial killer, shortly before he was executed by hanging.
  • This is a hell of a way to die.
    • Who: George S. Patton, after being admitted to the hospital after a car accident while out hunting.
  • I know not what tomorrow will bring.
    • Who: Fernando Pessoa, Portuguese poet
    • Note: Fernando Pessoa, who was bilingual, wrote his words in English, after losing the ability to speak.
  • Don't cry for me, Argentina.
  • I am curious to see what happens in the next world to one who dies unshriven.
    • Giving his reasons for refusing to see a priest as he lay dying.
    • Who: Pietro Perugino, Italian painter, d. 1523
  • Запрягайте сани, хочу ехать к сестре.
    • Translation: Get the sledge ready, I want to go to my sister.
    • Peter II of Russia, Russian emperor
    • Note: His sister, Natalia, had died 14 months before him.
  • Instaurare omnia in Christo.
  • I love you Sarah. For all eternity, I love you.
    • Who: James K. Polk, 11th President of the United States
    • Note: He was speaking to his wife on his deathbed.
  • I have not told half of what I saw.
  • Okay, I won't.
    • Who: Elvis Presley
    • Note: Those were his last words to fiancé Ginger Alden.
  • Me l'aspettavo.
    • Translation: I expected it to happen
    • Pino Puglisi, Italian priest shot by a Mafia assassin
    • Note: Pino Puglisi was reported to have smiled to his killer.
  • I love you, Kathy. I love the baby, but I need to find peace. I can't go on.
    • Freddie Prinze, stand-up comedian and actor, who left a suicide note and made a series of phone calls to his friends and family. The last statement was a phone call to his wife. After the call, Prinze pulled out a gun from the sofa and shot himself in the head.

Q

  • Adesso (or ora) vi faccio vedere come muore un italiano!
    • Translation: Now I will show you how an Italian dies!
    • Who: Fabrizio Quattrocchi, Italian security officer taken hostage in Iraq early in the Iraq War. When his captors came to execute him he rose from his knees, refused to kneel back down, and said these words.

R

  • Je m'en vais chercher un grand peut-être.
    • Translation: I am off in search of the great perhaps.
    • Who: François Rabelais
    • Variant Translation: I am off in search of a great may-be.
  • Beati qui in domino moriuntur
    • Translation: Blessed are those who die in the Lord or Blessed are those who die wearing a cloak.
    • Note: Rabelais is also attributed these last words. He is reputed to have said this after wrapping himself in his domino, a Spanish hooded cloak, a word which, in Latin, means lord or master.
  • I have a long journey to take, and must bid the company farewell.
  • I'm tired. I'm going back to bed.
    • Who: George Reeves
    • Note: Reeves committed suicide. This was the last thing he said to his friends before shooting himself in his bedroom.
  • Kaputt…
    • Translation: Broken... or Smashed
    • Who: Manfred von Richthofen, AKA The Red Baron, famous World War I flying ace, April 21, 1918.
    • Note: von Richthofen crash landed after being shot through the chest by Cedric Popkin and lived for 2 minutes until he finally uttered his final words.
  • I don't believe that I'm going to be able to speak any longer...
    • Who: Baseball impressario Branch Rickey
    • Note: He was in the middle of an acceptance speech at Missouri's Sports Hall of Fame when he collapsed in mid-sentence and never regained consciousness.
  • I have a terrific headache.
    • Who: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who died of a massive cerebral hemorrhage
    • Note: According to Conrad Black in his biography Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom, page 1110, FDR was sitting for a portrait when he put his left hand to the back of his head and said: "I have a terrific pain in the back of my head." He then was carried to his bed by several people, as they were doing this "he was understood by Laura Delano to say, only semiconsciously, 'Be careful.' These were his last words.
  • No.
  • Don’t go away. I don’t want to be alone. I can’t stand being alone.
    • Who: Arnold Rothstein, a.k.a. Mr. Big. Said to his wife Carolyn as he tried to raise himself he fell back and into unconsciousness. Rothstein would not regain consciousness and died the following morning.
  • I here declare my unmitigated hatred to Yankee rule -- to all political, social and business connection with the Yankees and to the Yankee race. Would that I could impress these sentiments, in their full force, on every living Southerner and bequeath them to every one yet to be born! May such sentiments be held universally in the outraged and down-trodden South, though in silence and stillness, until the now far-distant day shall arrive for just retribution for Yankee usurpation, oppression and atrocious outrages, and for deliverance and vengeance for the now ruined, subjugated and enslaved Southern States!...And now with my latest writing and utterance, and with what will be near my latest breath, I here repeat and would willingly proclaim my unmitigated hatred to Yankee rule--to all political, social and business connections with Yankees, and the perfidious, malignant and vile Yankee race.
    • Who: Edmund Ruffin (Diary entry, 17 June 1865)
    • Note: Ruffin was an ardent supporter of the Confederacy during the Civil War and fired one of the first shots of the war at Fort Sumter in 1861. He wrote his final diary entry on the occasion of General Robert E. Lee's surrender, and after completing his entry, shot himself in the head.
  • I'd like to be in hell in time for dinner.
    • Who: Edward H. Ruloff, a convicted serial killer and last person to be executed by hanging in the State of New York.
  • Goodbye, cobber. God bless you.
    • Who: Harold Rush, ANZAC soldier in World War I
    • Note: His last words before joining his attack wave during the Battle of the Nek. "Cobber" is a New Zealand colloquialism that means "friend".

S

  • Ik schiet beter!
    • Translation: I'm a better shot!
    • Who: Hannie Schaft
    • Note: Spoken to a German Soldier after having been shot in her execution. The soldier subsequently emptied his machine gun on her.
  • Dan liever de lucht in!
    • Translation: Rather to blow up, then!
    • Who: Jan van Speijk
    • Dutch naval lieutenant. On February 5, 1831, a gale caused his boat to drift into the quay at the port of Antwerp. Belgians stormed the boat and demanded Van Speijk take the Dutch flag down. Rather than doing so, he fired a pistol (some versions say he threw a lit cigar — few firsthand witness accounts survive) into a barrel of gunpowder while saying "Dan liever de lucht in" (which translates as, "Rather to blow up, then").
  • Put out the bloody cigarette!!
    • Who: Saki (British Author Hector Hugh Munro)
    • Note: Spoken to a fellow officer while in a trench during World War One, for fear the smoke would give away their positions. He was then shot by a German sniper who had heard the remark.
  • It's good.
    • Who: Sadako Sasaki, Hiroshima atomic bomb victim, after tasting her tea before dying of leukemia at age 12.
  • God Bless, God Damn!
    • Who: Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
    • Note: Santa Anna was known to spend many long hours trying to decide what his last words would be; one can only speculate if this is what he intended to say.
  • Hier, hier ist das deutsche Herz!
    • Translation: Here, here is the German heart!
    • Who: The last of the "Schillschen officers" - a group of eleven Prussian officers executed on the Schillschen Field in Wesel, Germany, by Napoleon's troops. Reportedly said after his ten fellow-officers were shot by the firing squad, leaving him alive unintentionally. He was promptly shot.
  • Es Lebe Die Freiheit!
    • Translation: Long live freedom!
    • Who: Hans Scholl, leader of The White Rose, German anti-Hitler resistance movement.
    • His last words from the guillotine before sentence of death for high treason was executed (22 February 1943)
  • For God's sake look after our people.
    • Who: Robert Falcon Scott.
    • Note: These were the last words he wrote in his diary, before he froze to death.
  • They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance.
    • These were among the final words of General John Sedgwick, Union Commander in the U.S. Civil War, who was hit by sniper fire a few minutes after saying them, at the battle of Spotsylvania, on May 9, 1864. They are often portrayed as if they were his absolute final statement, the sentence often being presented as if he did not even finish it, and altered into the form: "They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist…". Though this may be a slightly more striking version of events, his actual last words are believed to be "All right, my man; go to your place," in response to a soldier telling him that he preferred to duck when being shot at, even from a great distance. - (External link: Death of General John Sedgwick)
  • Up...up....
    • Who: Tom Simpson
    • Note: Tom Simpson was a cyclist who died on the Mont Ventoux, probably because of a combination of amphetamines, alcohol and the heat. His last words are often erroneously quoted as "Put me back on my bike"; Simpsons soigneur told reporters that he wanted to be "put back on his bike", and this was reported as such.
  • I'm losing.
    • Who: Frank Sinatra (May 14, 1998)
    • Note: According to his daughter Nancy Sinatra, as told to Variety magazine senior columnist, Army Archerd. Other sources quote him as saying, "I'm losin' it."
  • I am not going. Do with me what you like. I am not going. Come on! Come on! Take action! Let's go!
    • Who: Chief Sitting Bull, famous for leading the Sioux tribe against General Custer's troops at the Battle of Little Bighorn
    • Notes: About 43 members of the Indian police decided to arrest him. Sitting Bull refused to leave with the police and a crowd of angry supporters gathered around him. A fight broke out and Sitting Bull wound up getting shot in the head.
  • This is the first time authorities helped me escape prison
    • Who: George Sitts, convicted murderer before his electrocution in 1947 in South Dakota
  • Która godzina?
  • I believe we should adjourn this meeting to another place.
  • Good-bye, lads! I'm going to follow the ship!
  • Now it's every man for himself.
    • Who: Captain Edward John Smith, commander of the RMS TITANIC, April 15, 1912.
    • Note: Smith's final words have been debated for decades when the ship sank, as has his fate. This particular fate places Smith swimming back into the A Deck Promenade before being sucked inside the Grand Staircase after handing over a baby to Collapsible A.
  • I'm a dead man!
    • Who: Hyrum Smith upon being shot in the face, just before his brother Joseph was as well.
  • Uh oh.
    • Who: Michael J. Smith, crew member of the ill-fated Space Shuttle Challenger 51-L mission, 28 January 1986. Last statement recorded on the spacecraft's cockpit recorder, immediately before the shuttle exploded.
  • My God, what's happened?
    • Who: Diana, Princess of Wales (aka Lady Diana Spencer), 31 August 1997 (after being mortally wounded in a car accident)
  • Crito, we ought to offer a cock to Asclepius. See to it, and don't forget.
    • Who: Socrates, quoted by Plato in Phaedo
    • Note: Asclepius was a Greek god of healing (his shrine is on the side of the Acropolis). It seems to many that Socrates considered death to be a relief, and thus was thanking the god for the service of killing him.
  • It must have been the coffee.
    • Who: Jack Soo, Actor and Comic, quoted by Hal Linden
    • Note: This was a reference to the running gag of his character Nick Yemana from the TV show Barney Miller having the reputation for making horrible coffee. According to friend and fellow cast-member Hal Linden, these were Soo's last words before being taken to surgery for cancer of the esophagus.
  • Capital punishment: them without the capital get the punishment
    • Who: John Arthur Spenkelink
    • Before his electrocution in Florida in 1979. He was the first person executed involuntary after moratorium was lifted
  • I'm going to go be with Gloria now.
  • Heil Hitler! Dies ist mein Purimfest 1946. Ich gehe zu Gott. Die Bolschewisten werden eines Tages Euch auch hängen.
    • Translation Heil Hitler! This is my Purim celebration 1946. I go to God. The Bolshevists will one day hang you, too.
    • Who: Julius Streicher, Publisher of the infamous Nazi tabloid Der Stürmer and one-time Gauleiter of Franconia, moments before being hanged for crimes against humanity.
      • Note: Of all the condemned Nazis, he was the only one to salute Hitler before his own execution.
  • ¡Carajo, un balazo!
    • Translation: Darn! A bullet!
    • Who: Antonio José de Sucre, after being shot while riding his horse in the jungle in Colombia on his way home. He was said to be a fine gentleman who had never cursed until that day, according to Ricardo Palma's "Tradiciones en Salsa Verde".
  • Please don't let me fall.
    • Who: Mary Surratt, before being hanged for her part in the conspiracy to assassinate President Lincoln. She was the first woman executed by the United States federal government.

T

  • I am about to die. I expect the summons very soon. I have tried to discharge my duties faithfully. I regret nothing, but I am sorry I am about to leave my friends.
  • Jesus, I love you. Jesus, I love you.
    • Who: Mother Teresa (Sept 5, 1997)
    • Notes: Sister Nirmala Joshi recalled, "Just hours before her death, Mother Teresa spoke about the Little Flower, St. Therese. She has just been declared a ‘Doctor of the Church’ by Pope John Paul II. Her last words are: "Can you imagine, for doing little things with great love, the Church is making her a Doctor, like St. Augustine and the big St. Teresa! It is just like Jesus said in the Gospel to the one who was seated in the lowest place: "Friend, come up higher." St. Therese's last words were quite similar, "Oh, I love him; my God, I love you".
  • Pity me not. I die as a man of honour ought, in discharge of my duty. They indeed are objects of pity who fight against their king, their country, and their oath.
    • Who: Pierre Terrail, seigneur de Bayard (April 30, 1524)
    • Notes: Le chevalier sans peur et sans reproche, died of an arquebus shot to the back in battle with the Spaniards. He was propped up against a tree and, for want of a crucifix, he was confessed with his sword. Even the enemy commander attended him at his death.
  • For God's sake, let me work!
    • Who: Osamu Tezuka, legendary Japanese cartoonist and animator
      • He spoke these words as a nurse took his drawing board from his hospital bed and encouraged him to get some sleep.


  • Moose … Indian.
    • Who: Henry David Thoreau
      • Note: These words he had said in a delirium before expiring. When urged earlier to make his peace with God his last coherent response was, "I did not know that we had ever quarreled."
  • God bless... God damn.
    • Who: James Thurber, humorist, d. 1961
  • No, I'm not!
    • Who: American musician, music historian and ukulele player Tiny Tim (Real name: Herbert Khaury)
    • Tiny Tim suffered a heart attack while playing "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" at a Gala Benefit. His wife asked him if he was okay and he said, "No, I'm not!" After that he collapsed and died at a hospital in Minnesota.
  • Mihi vita immerenti eripitur; neque enim extat ullum meum factum paenitendum expecto dumtaxat uno.
    • Translation: I deserve not death, but I repent nothing else in my life except for one thing.
    • Who: Titus, Roman Emperor
  • Don't kill this man. He has a story to tell.
    • Who: Leon Trotsky
    • Trotsky said this to his guards, who were about to kill the man who had mortally wounded him with an ice axe.
  • Yes sir, I would like to say to all of you – the Thornton family and Jerry Dean’s family that I am so sorry. I hope God will give you peace with this. Baby, I love you. Ron, give Peggy a hug for me. Everybody has been so good to me. I love all of you very much. I am going to be face to face with Jesus now. Warden Baggett, thank all of you so much. You have been so good to me. I love all of you very much. I will see you all when you get there. I will wait for you.
  • Ha. You're out.
    • Who: Patrick Tuler
    • Tuler, a World War I soldier, who was bleeding to death from bullet wounds, said this to an enemy soldier.
  • Ein davar, tov lamut be'ad arzenu (אין דבר, טוב למות בעד ארצנו)
    • Translation: Never mind; it is good to die for our country
    • Who: Joseph Trumpeldor (1880-1920)
    • Trumpeldor was a soldier and early pioneer/settler in Israel, he died defending the Tel-Hai settlment from an Arab attack.
    • Variant Translation: It is alright; It is better to die for our country
    • Notes: Modern Israeli jocular rumor claims Trumpeldor's true last words were merely a juicy Russian curse.
  • It's in God's hands now.
    • Who: Nat Turner, immediately before he was hanged.
  • Doctor, I'm dying. Perhaps it is best.
    • Who: John Tyler, 10th President of the United States

U

V

  • Don't pull down the blinds. I feel fine. I want the sunlight to greet me!

[Suicide Note.]

  • [...] e saio da vida, para entrar na história.
  • Translation: I leave life so that I can walk into History.
  • Mantua me genuit, Calabri rapuere, tenet nunc
    Parthenope; cecini pascua rura duces.
    • Translation: Mantua bore me, Calabria snatched me away, now
      Naples holds me; I sang of pastures, fields, and kings.
    • Who: Virgil, Roman Poet, he wrote the Eclogues (pastoral poetry), the Georgics (ostensibly a didactic guide to farming), and the Aeneid (the foundation myth of Rome), hence "pastures, fields and kings."
  • All right then, I'll say it: Dante makes me sick.
    • Who: Lope de Vega, famous playwright, on being assured that the end was very near.
  • La Révolution est comme Saturne : elle dévore ses propres enfants.
    • Translation: The revolution is like Saturn: It devours its own children.
    • Who: Pierre Vergniaud, French revolutionary
  • Vae, puto deus fio. (when he thought he was dying)
    • Translation: Dear me! I think I'm turning into a god…
    • Who: Vespasian, Roman emperor
    • Source: Suetonius
    • Notes: And indeed, Vespasian was deified after his death
  • Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something.
    • Who: Francisco ("Pancho") Villa
    • Note: This quote may be apocryphal. A hail of bullets was fired into Villa's car from ambush, and he was struck in the heart and the head. If these wounds occurred in the intitial burst of fire it is unlikely Villa could have said anything.
  • I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.
  • Now, now, my good man, this is no time for making enemies.
    • Who: Voltaire (attributed), when asked by a priest to renounce Satan

W

  • Take me home. I was born in the South and I wish to die and be buried in the South.
  • 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? ["Yes," replied Tobias Lear, his secretary.] 'Tis well. I die hard, but I am not afraid to go.
    • Who: George Washington, first President of the United States (he had a fear of being buried alive)
  • I'm out of here, man. I'm gone. Keep me in your hearts.
    • Who: Kevin Watts
    • Note: Last words before being executed by lethal injection for a triple murder.
  • Why, yes, a bulletproof vest.
    • Who: Domonic Willard
    • Notes: Willard was a small time foot soldier during the Prohibition. Just before his death by firing squad, he was asked if he had any last requests.
  • My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.
    • Who: Oscar Wilde
    • Variation: These curtains are killing me, one of us has got to go.
    • Popular variation often found in "Famous Last Words"-lists: "Either the wallpaper goes, or I do."
    • Notes: Mr. Wilde said this in the Left Bank hotel where he died on November 30 1900, the wallpaper has since been removed and the room re-furnished in the style of one of Mr. Wilde's London flats.
    • Quibble: He actually said this a couple of weeks before his death…
    • He was also reported to have ordered a bottle of the hotel's most expensive champagne to later say: I'm dying beyond my means
  • Mon Dieu, mon Dieu, ayez pitié de mon âme et de ce pauvre peuple.
    • Translation: My Lord, my Lord, have pity upon my soul and these poor people.
    • Variations: My God, my God, have mercy on me, and on my poor people!
      O my God, have mercy on this poor people.
      My God, have pity on my soul; my God, have pity on this poor people.
      My God, have mercy on my soul and on these poor people.
      My God, have pity on my soul; I am badly wounded.
      My God, have pity on my soul and on this poor people!
    • Who: William the Silent, Father of the Netherlands. He was shot and died soon after.
  • Oh, what's the bloody point?
    • Kenneth Williams, British actor and raconteur. This was the final entry in his diary.
  • I don't believe that people should take their own lives without deep and thoughtful reflection over a considerable period of time. Suicide note.
    • Who: Wendy O. Williams, punk rock performer, d. April 6, 1998
  • Various medical authorities swarm in and out of here predicting I have between two days and two months to live. I think they are guessing. I remain cheerful and unimpressed. I look forward without dogmatic optimism but without dread. I love you all and I deeply implore you to keep the lasagna flying. Please pardon my levity, I don't see how to take death seriously. It seems absurd.
    • Who: Robert Anton Wilson, Philosopher, Playwright, Science Fiction Author. Final blog entry, five days before his death (6 January 2007)
  • Oh, it is so good to be home!
    • Who: Wolfman Jack (pseudonym of Robert Weston Smith), Veteran radio DJ. Spoken to his wife, with open arms, after completing a tour promoting his autobiography. During a loving hug, he collapsed and died in her arms.
  • I am ready.
  • Gents, this is an educational project. You are about to witness the damaging effect electricity has on Wood
    • Who: Frederick Charles Wood, convicted murderer electrocuted in 1951 in New York
  • I feel certain that I'm going mad again. I feel we can't go through another of those terrible times. And I shan't recover this time. I begin to hear voices
    • Who: Virginia Woolf, author, d. March 28, 1941
  • I'd just like to say I'm sailing with the Rock and I'll be back like Independence Day with Jesus, June 6, like the movie, big mothership and all. I'll be back.

X

  • Brothers! Brothers, please! This is a house of peace!
    • Who: Malcolm X
    • Other reports have his last words being "Now, now, brothers, break it up, be cool, be calm."
      • Note: Two men were staging a fight in the audience he was addressing to distract attention from assassins who were drawing their guns to shoot him. Reportedly, Malcolm was dead before his body struck the floor.

Z

  • You give me electric chair. I no afraid of that chair! You one of capitalists. You is crook man too. Put me in electric chair. I no care! Get to hell out of here, you son of a bitch [spoken to the attending minister]… I go sit down all by myself… Viva Italia! Goodbye to all poor peoples everywhere!… Lousy capitalists! No picture! Capitalists! No one here to take my picture. All capitalists lousy bunch of crooks. Go ahead. Pusha da button!
    • Who: Giuseppe Zangara, who in 1933 had attempted to assassinate President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt, and in so doing mortally wounded Chicago mayor Anton Cermak. His last words were satirized in the 2001 musical Assassins by Stephen Sondheim.
  • "Well, we fooled 'em for a long time, didn't we?"
    • Who: William Henry "Zip the Pinhead" Johnson
    • Also known as "What-Is-It?", he was a circus sideshow performer, known for his oddly tapered head. While he was presented as a microcephalic (or "pin-head'), he was not one in reality, nor did he have any mental retardation as do authentic microcephalics.
  • Curtain! Fast music! Light! Ready for the last finale! Great! The show looks good, the show looks good!
    • Who: Florenz Ziegfeld, Showman
      • Note: He shouted these words in a delirium on his deathbed.

See also

External links