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From clever quips to renouncements of faith, we count the incredible dying words of sixty people!
Sir Winston Churchill was a celebrated writer and politician who twice served as the UK’s Prime Minister. He died in 1965, with his health deteriorating after a stroke. Seems he was ready to go, though; his last words were: ‘I’m bored with it all.’
Pancho Villa was a Mexican political–military leader and viva la revolutionist! In 1923, he was gunned down in his vehicle during a banking trip to Parral. His dying words were: ‘Don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something.’
Emily Dickinson was a celebrated American poet who lived a life of seclusion. She died in 1886 after being bedridden for months. Her last words were: ‘I must go in, for the fog is rising.’ Her many cats purred in acknowledgement.
Carl Panzram was an American serial killer, rapist, arsonist and burglar who was sentenced to execution in 1930. With his final words, Panzram chose to mock his executioner: ‘Hurry it up, you Hoosier bastard! I could hang a dozen men while you’re screwing around.’
Bessie Smith was a popular American blues singer. During her run, she influenced many jazz vocalists and earned the nickname The Empress of the Blues. Bessie died affirming her devotion to the big man upstairs. ‘I’m going,’ she said, ‘but I’m going in the name of the Lord.’
Joan Crawford was an Oscar-winning American film and television actress. Apparently she was not on speaking terms with her maker, as she reportedly died in 1977 while yelling at her praying housekeeper. Her final words were: ‘Damn it! Don’t you dare ask God to help me!’
Wilson Mizner was a famous raconteur, entrepreneur, and a successful playwright. He died in 1933. While Mizner was on his deathbed, an attending priest said, ‘I’m sure you want to talk to me.’ To which Mizner replied: ‘Why should I talk to you? I’ve just been talking to your boss.’
Oscar Odd McIntyre was a famed American newspaper columnist who died in 1938, aged fifty-three. His last words were said to his wife, Maybelle: ‘Snooks, will you please turn this way? I like to look at your face.’
Ethan Allen was an American Revolutionary War patriot and politician. He died in 1789, hours after suffering an apoplectic fit during a routine business trip. An attending physician attempted to comfort him, saying: ‘General, I fear the angels are waiting for you.’
‘Waiting are they?’ Allen replied. ‘Well, let ’em wait.’
Charlie Chaplin was a legendary comic actor and silent film star, who died in bed in 1977. An attending priest said ‘May the Lord have mercy on your soul.’ To which he replied: ‘Why not? After all, it belongs to him.’