The 29 Most Infamous Last Words Uttered By Famous People in Their Final Moments

When the final moment comes and we’re about to die, supposedly, there is a calm that comes over us. Those who've had near-death experiences have spoken of feelings of joy and warmth right before the moment of death. If that’s the case, then that might explain why some people’s final words are so memorable. If we were paralyzed with fear, these words might be less eloquent and more of a jumbled mess.

While many final words have been exaggerated or completely made up (No, Oscar Wilde’s last words were not, “It’s the wall paper or me — one of us has to go”), a lot have been accurately documented. We’ve narrowed down some final words from famous writers, musicians, politicians, activists — and even one serial killer — that, at least as final words go, are pretty interesting. Historically, they all appear to be true, and no, sadly, not a single one is as witty as Wilde’s made up last words, but that’s just how it goes. Here are the 29 final words that caught our eye.

Marie Antoinette

“Pardonnez-moi, monsieur.”

Said because she had accidentally stepped on the foot of her executioner.

Image: WikiCommons

Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Said to her husband when he asked her how she was feeling.

Image: WikiCommons

F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Good enough. They’ll be fine.”

Said to Sheila Graham, who asked if he wanted anything besides the Hershey bars she had while waiting for the doctor.

Image: WikiCommons

Johannes Brahms

“Yes, that tastes nice!”

Exclaimed as he sat straight up in bed and took a final sip of wine before dying.

Image: WikiCommons

Vladimir Nabokov

“A certain butterfly is already on the wing.”

Said to his wife. Nabokov, in addition to writing, had a love affair with butterflies.

Image: WikiCommons

James Baldwin

“I’m bored.”

Said to those sitting around his deathbed.

Image: WikiCommons

Aileen Wuornos

“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 movies, big mothership and all, I’ll be back.”

Said just seconds before her lethal injection.

Getty Images/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Orson Welles

“This is your friend. Don’t forget to tell me how your mother is.”

Left on an answering machine right before he died.

Image: WikiCommons

Malcolm X

“Hold it! Hold it! Let’s cool it! Let’s be cool, brothers!”

Said to the three assassins who murdered him.

Image: WikiCommons

Edgar Allan Poe

“Lord help my soul.”

Said to a friend, although during that last night of his life he called out a name that sounded like “Reynolds,” over and over again, until he passed.

Image: WikiCommons

Margaret Sanger

“A Party! Let’s have a party.”

Considering her role in women reproductive rights, this seems quite fitting.

Image: WikiCommons

Harriet Tubman

“Swing low, sweet chariot.”

Sung in unison with her family as they had all begun to sing the song together to comfort Tubman in her final moments.

Image: WikiCommons

Ernest Hemingway

“Goodnight, my kitten.”

Said to his wife, Mary, before he took his own life.

Image: WikiCommons

Alfred Hitchcock

“One never knows the ending. One has to die to know exactly what happens after death, although Catholics have their hopes.”

Image: WikiCommons

Winston Churchill

“I’m bored with it all.”

Spoken just moments before slipping into coma from which he never awoke.

Image: WikiCommons

Joan Crawford

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

Yelled at her housekeeper who was praying her side. (She wouldn’t be Joan Crawford if she didn’t go out yelling.)

Image: WikiCommons

Joe DiMaggio

“I’ll finally get to see Marilyn.”

Said in regards to his one-time wife Marilyn Monroe, whom he regarded as the love of his life.

Image: WikiCommons

Bo Diddley


Because sometimes, that’s all you’ve got to say in those instances.

Image: WikiCommons

Henry Miller

“Gilbert — poor Dodd.”

Said to his son Gilbert.

Image: WikiCommons

Charlotte Brontë

“Oh, I am not going to die, am I? He will not separate us, we have been so happy!”

Said to her husband, Arthur Bell Nicholls.

Image: WikiCommons

Jospehine Baker

“Oh, you young people act like old men! You’re no fun!”

Said as she left a party held in her honor and just moments before she died of a cerebral hemorrhage.

Image: WikiCommons

Dylan Thomas

“I’ve had 18 straight whiskies… I think that’s the record.”

It’s up for debate as to whether these words were said right before he died, or earlier in the night during his final drinking binge.

Image: WikiCommons

Jane Austen

“I want nothing, but death.”

Said to her sister Cassandra when she had asked if there was anything that Jane wanted.

Image: WikiCommons

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

“OK, I will.”

Said to someone who suggested he wear a coat for his speech in Memphis that day.

Image: WikiCommons

Frank Sinatra

“I’m losing it.”

Handout/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Eleanor Roosevelt

“Utter nonsense.”

Said to the nurse who told her that she would only die when she had fulfilled everything God wanted her to.

Image: WikiCommons


“Demain, au soleil levant je ne serais plus.” (“Tomorrow, at sunrise, I will be here no more.)

Said to a friend, and, once again, he was right.

Image: WikiCommons

Sigmund Freud

“Now it’s nothing, but torture and makes no sense any more.”

Said to Dr. Schur shortly before his death.

Image: WikiCommons

Truman Capote

“Mama — Mama — Mama.”

Image: WikiCommons