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Famous Last Words from 18 Iconic People

These people had it all figured out.

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Famous last words

These famous people made sure to make one more lasting impression on the world before they left it. Read on to learn some of the memorable last words for 18 iconic people.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg

“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” —Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice, on September 18, 2020. Before you catch the late justice on a new 2023 stamp, read about the ways Ruth Bader Ginsburg has made history.

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George OrwellUncredited/AP/REX/Shutterstock

George Orwell

“At fifty, everyone has the face he deserves.” —George Orwell, writer, on January 21, 1950. It’s only fitting that one of the world’s greatest writers had famous last words. Learn what the four words Princess Diana said before she died were.

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William Henry SewardHistoria/REX/Shutterstock

William Henry Seward

“Nothing, only ‘love one another.'” —William Henry Seward, U.S. Secretary of State. Here are the rumors—and truth—behind Steve Jobs’ last words.

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Leonardo Da VinciHistoria/REX/Shutterstock

Leonardo da Vinci

“I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.” —Leonardo da Vinci, artist, on May 2, 1519. Up for a challenge? See if you can guess the Disney villain by their last words.

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Donald O'ConnorBEI/REX/Shutterstock

Donald O’Connor

“I’d like to thank the Academy for my lifetime achievement award that I will eventually get.” —Donald O’Connor, performer, on September 27, 2003. Read up on these moving quotes about peace from world leaders.

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Dominique BouhoursHistoria/REX/Shutterstock

Dominique Bouhours

“I am about to—or I am going to—die. Either expression is correct.” —Dominique Boubours, French grammarian, on May 27, 1702. Read more word-nerd one-liners with these best grammar jokes of all time.

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the best of edward abbey book covervia

Abbey Edward Paul

“I did what I could.” —Abbey Edward Paul, American writer, on March 14, 1989. This is the last thing JFK said to Jackie before he died.

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Maude Adams

“Life is still full of joy. Thumbs up for joy and adventure.” —Maude Adams, actress, on July 17, 1953. Like many famous last words, these powerful quotes will fill you with hope.

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Moe BergAP/REX/Shutterstock

Moe Berg

“How did the Mets do today?” —Morris (Moe) Berg, baseball player, on May 29, 1972. Check out these confidence-boosting quotes from amazing women in history.

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William SaroyanAnthony Wallace/ANL/REX/Shutterstock

William Saroyan

“Everybody has got to die, but I have always believed an exception would be made in my case. What now?” —William Saroyan, American novelist, on May 1981. Here are some of the best book quotes from our favorite books.

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“Happy.” —Raphael, Italian artist. Here’s the last thing James Dean said before his infamous car crash.

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Leonard NimoyParamount Television/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Leonard Nimoy

“A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP [live long and prosper].” —Leonard Nimoy, actor, in his final tweet in 2015. Learn about these famous movie quotes that everyone gets wrong.

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Vic MorrowAnonymous/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Vic Morrow

“I should have asked for a stunt double!” —Vic Morrow, American actor, on July 23, 1982.

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Bat Masterson

“We all get the same amount of ice. The rich get it in the summer. The poor get it in the winter.” —Bat Masterson, gunfighter, on October 25, 1921.

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Louis XVIIIUniversal History Archive/Universal Images Group/REX/Shutterstock


“A King should die standing.” —Louis XVII, King of France, on September 16, 1824.

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Billie HolidayUniversal History Archive/Universal Images Group/REX/Shutterstock

Billie Holiday

“Don’t be in such a hurry.” —Billie Holiday, musical artist, on July 17, 1959. Don’t miss these moving quotes that will inspire you to dream big.

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Ian Fleming

“I am sorry to trouble you chaps. I don’t know how you get along so fast with the traffic on the roads these days.” —Ian Fleming, English author, to ambulance drivers in Canterbury, Kent, England, on August 11, 1964.

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W.c FieldsMoviestore/REX/Shutterstock

W.C. Fields

“I’m looking for loopholes.” —W.C. Fields, comedian, when asked why he was reading the Bible on his deathbed. For more quotes that will inspire you to live your best life, check out these uplifting quotes that will stay with you.