Echoes of Legacy: The Final Words of 45 Famous Figures – Part 2


1Gautama Buddha

Gautama Buddha

"All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness" were the last words of Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha, an Indian sage who founded Buddhism.

2. "Above all, I charge the leadership of the nation and their followers with the strict observance of the racial laws and with merciless resistance against the universal poisoners of all peoples, international Jewry" were the last words of Adolf Hitler, German Nazi statesman (30 April 1945), closing his last will before committing joint suicide with his wife.

3. The last words of Louis XVI, king of France were “Gentlemen, I am innocent of everything of which I am accused. I hope that my blood may cement the good fortune of the French”, speaking to his executioners before being killed by the means of the guillotine.

4. "Now I can cross the shifting sands" were the last words of American poet L. Frank Baum to his wife after suffering from stroke, referring to the magical desert surrounding the Land of Oz.

5. "I'm finished. I don't even trust myself" were the last words of Joseph Stalin.

6Frederick the Great

Frederick the Great

The last words of Frederick the Great, king of Prussia were "I am tired of ruling over slaves."

7. Abraham Lincoln, president of the United States (15 April 1865), assuring his wife Mary that their friend Clara would not mind them holding hands, his last words were "She won't think anything about it", shortly before he was fatally shot from behind.

8. "Goodnight my kitten" were the last words of Ernest Hemingway to his wife, before committing suicide with his shotgun.

9. "Water" was the last words of Catherine the Great, the Empress of Russia when she suffered a stroke.

10. "At fifty, everyone has the face he deserves" were the last words of George Orwell, English author dying at the age of 46.



The last words of the Greek mathematician Archimedes to a Roman soldier (c. 212 BC) were “Don't disturb my circles!”, who had interrupted his geometric experiments during the capture of Syracuse, whereupon the soldier became so upset that he killed him.

12. “Brothers! Brothers, please! This is a house of peace!” were the last words of Malcolm X when he was trying to calm 400-person chaos shortly before being killed by gunfire from multiple assailants.

13. The last words of the Russian communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin were: ‘Good dog,’ which he said to a dog that had brought him a dead bird. It’s thought that the cause of his death was syphilis.

14. Napoleon Bonaparte died in exile on the remote island of St Helena in 1821 and his last words were recorded as "France, armée, tête d'armée, Joséphine" (France, army, head of the army, Joséphine). He was probably delirious and simply summed up his three loves, his country, his exploits at the head of his army and his first wife.

15. The last words of American actor Paul Walker were to his friend Roger Rodas while entering his Porsche. They were “Let's go for a drive”. Rodas then went speeding and crashed the car into a tree, killing them both.

16Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin’s last words were “A dying man can do nothing easy”, complaining about the difficulty to assume a more comfortable position on his deathbed.

17. The last words of American serial killer Arthur Gary Bishop was "I want to offer again my most profound and heartfelt apologies to my victims' families. I am truly sorry. I have tried my best to empathize with their grief and devastation and I hope they come to know of my concerns and prayers for them."

18. The last words of English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning were "It is beautiful."

19. Australian bushranger Ned Kelly's last words were Allegedly, "Such is life."

20. Roman emperor Nero's last words were "Too late! But, ah, what fidelity!" to the soldier trying to save him after his suicide.

21Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus

Italian explorer Christopher Columbus (20 May 1506), quoting Jesus as his last words were "Into Your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit."

22. The final statement of an American murderer James W. Rodgers before facing a firing squad was "I done told you my last request… a bulletproof vest."

23. French physician Nostradamus last words were "Tomorrow, at sunrise, I shall no longer be here," correctly predicting his death.

24. The last words of convicted murderer Roosevelt Green were “I am about to die for a murder I did not commit, that someone else committed ... I love the Lord and hope that God takes me into his kingdom, and goodbye, [M]other.”

25. At his public execution, the last words of murderer William Palmer is said to have looked at the trapdoor on the gallows and asked the hangman, "Are you sure it's safe?