Whether they inspired us, made us laugh, shocked us or just made us think, these individuals uttered famous last words we love.
Amelia Earhart’s last words were, “Please know that I am quite aware of the hazards. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.” The first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, Earhart was an American aviation pioneer and author. She didn’t see failure as a failure. She saw it as a call to others to try and outdo her. Her plane disappeared July 2, 1937 during an attempt to circumnavigate the globe.
Leonardo da Vinci’s last words were, “I have offended God and mankind because my work didn’t reach the quality it should.” If you think that all successful people feel satisfied with themselves after earning a little bit of fame, here’s proof that that’s not true! Leonardo Da Vinci (1452 to 1519) is the example of an artist who absolutely had to put his best work out there — he had a hunger to do so. Even if society revered him, he wasn’t happy if he did any less than he knew he was capable of.
Oscar Wilde’s last words were, “Either that wallpaper goes, or I do.” We love to think that great thinkers like Oscar Wilde always have profound, deep thoughts. But hey, everybody’s a little bit superficial! Wilde was an Irish writer and poet who became one of London’s most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. He lived from 1845 to 1900.
Karl Marx’s last words were, “Go on, get out — last words are for fools who haven’t said enough.” A German philosopher, economist and revolutionary socialist, Marx felt content with his reputation and the mark he’d left on the world — so much so that he didn’t feel the need to say anything special at the end. Wouldn’t it be nice to feel so secure in the mark you’ve made on the world?
Errol Flynn’s last words were, “I’ve had a hell of a lot of fun and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.” An Australian actor known for playing the heartthrob in romantic films, Flynn was a playboy in real life. Flynn reminds us to have fun! At the end, when you know your life is about to end, won’t you want to look back and remember enjoying yourself?
Che Guevara’s last words were, “I know you have come to kill me. Shoot coward, you are only going to kill a man.” An Argentine Marxist revolutionary, Guevara was a guerrilla leader and military theorist. He knew before he died that he had spread his ideals and that they lived in thousands if not millions of others. His death did not even put even the tiniest dent in the ideals he had spread.
Elizabeth I was the queen of England for nearly 45 years and the last monarch of the Tudor dynasty. If you ever wonder just how important material things are, consider that Elizabeth I would have given up all her possessions for a little more time on Earth. Her last words were, “All my possessions for a moment of time.” And you can bet she had some fabulous things.
Joan Crawford was an American stage performer and Oscar-winning actress. But she didn’t star in the film she is most famous for — it was about her. “Mommie Dearest” is a 1981 biographical drama about Crawford, starring Faye Dunaway, based on an 1978 book by Crawford’s daughter, Christina. That the film portrayed Crawford and her mothering skills in a negative light is something of an understatement. Crawford’s last words were, “Damn it…don’t you dare ask God to help me.” Apparently she felt pretty good about herself — she didn’t feel the need to ask for forgiveness.
Louis XIV was the King of France from 1643 to 1715 and notorious for having plenty of mistresses. His last words were, “Why do you weep? Did you think I should live forever?” It’s nice to know he didn’t totally have a God complex.
Kit Carson was an American frontiersman and trailblazer. He explored the coast from California to Washington and was a respected fighter for Indian tribes. Carson’s last words were, “I just wish I had time for one more bowl of chili.” Here’s a great reminder that it’s the simple things that bring us most pleasure. Are you eating enough chili?