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Top 10 Famous Last Words

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Sean Harris We'll all have them, but these guys really made them count. Join WatchMojo.comsuggest down our picks for the top 10 famous last words. For this list, we've collected the best, most profound and most memorable last utterances before deaths ever documented. Special thanks to our users Jackson Risby and ViolaCello for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Sean Harris

Top 10 Famous Last Words


We'll all have them, but these guys really made them count. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Best Famous Last Words.

For this list, we’ve collected the best, most profound and most memorable last utterances before deaths ever documented. We have not included anything Biblical, however, and last words based on myths or legends do not qualify.

#10: “One last drink, please.”
Jack Daniel

Jack Daniel is so embedded in the history of American liquor; even his last words are related. The exact circumstances of Mr. Jack’s death are contentious, but the majority of sources report that the great distiller died from infection, gained after kicking his safe in frustration as he couldn’t remember its code. The infection spread from his toes through his body, and in his final minutes he presumably needed something to take the edge off the experience. For Jack, whiskey was a lifelong dedication, and his dying wish.

#9: “Pardon me, sir, I meant not to do it.”
Marie Antoinette

An Austrian Archduchess who married into the French Royal family, Marie Antoinette is a famous figure, due partly to her supposedly extravagant lifestyle and partly to her bitter end. A Royal who lost significant favor with her public before her demise, “the Austrian Woman” – as she came to be known – was an important character in the French Revolution. After house arrest, an escape attempt and imprisonment, it was finally her conviction of high treason that led to her death. Her contrite final words were not atonement for her supposed crime, however; they were an apology to the executioner for stepping on his foot.

#8: “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.”
John Sedgwick

Well-known for the sad irony of his final comment, Civil War general John Sedgwick stated this phrase right before he was shot by a Confederate bullet. Moments before falling to his death, Sedgwick was documented to be questioning his men; asking them why they were flinching and ducking for cover during the Battle of Spotsylvania. “Why are you dodging like this?” is what preceded his memorable last words. Somber as it is, Sedgwick answered his own question.

#7: “Damn it! Don’t you dare ask God to help me!”
Joan Crawford

Famous last words rarely get more badass (or blasphemous) than Joan Crawford’s, who remained defiant until the last. Reportedly spoken in response to a nearby maid who offered prayer at the actress’ bedside, Crawford was not going to let religious faith infringe upon her final moments. Even though she identified as a Christian scientist later in life, the Golden Age icon was set on stepping into the great unknown entirely unaided and independent. And besides, what’s one last curse between a woman and her maker?

#6: “Thomas Jefferson still survives.”
John Adams

The second president of the United States, John Adams’ final words refer to the nation’s third leader. Adams and Thomas Jefferson were among the last surviving signatories of the Declaration of Independence when they both died exactly 50 years later on July 4, 1826. The pair had been political rivals through much of their lives, before mutual respect won out and they became friends in old age. Adams’ final phrase was difficult to discern, but is often cited as “Thomas Jefferson still survives.” Unbeknownst to Adams though, Jefferson hadn’t survived him, as he had died earlier that day.

#5: “Let’s cool it brothers. Brothers, brothers please. This is a house of peace.”
Malcolm X

The exact phrase spoken by Malcolm X seconds before he was fatally shot varies from source to source, but his meaning is clear. An extremely influential civil rights leader, Malcolm X was assassinated on February 21st, 1965, by the Nation of Islam movement, of which he had previously been a member. Killed shortly after his own Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, he had exhaustively rallied for equality throughout his life, but sadly was still calling for peace at the moment of his death.

#4: “I know you are here to kill me. Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man.”
Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara

A leader of the revolution until his last breath, when Che Guevara came face to face with his executioner, he understood that despite his own imminent death, his ideas would survive. The socialist icon was captured by U.S.-backed Bolivian forces on October 8th 1967, before being held overnight and shot the next day. Mario Terán, who had lost three friends in a fight with Guevara’s forces, volunteered to carry out his execution. Just before Terán fired, Guevara parted with a reminder that a man’s principles do not necessarily die with the man himself.

#3: “Of course I know who you are. You’re my girl. I love you.”
John Wayne

An undisputed American icon, John Wayne’s final words are perhaps the most touching of all in today’s top ten. The model of masculinity, he succumbed to stomach cancer in June 1979, but not before leaving his daughter Aissa with a heartfelt final message. Wayne’s condition had deteriorated during the days leading up to his death, and he had been slipping in and out of consciousness. The desperate situation caused Aissa to ask “Do you know who I am?” Wayne’s answer was beautifully simple and simply beautiful.

#2: “Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough.”
Karl Marx

One of the most important and influential people of the 19th century, if not human history, Karl Marx certainly spoke and wrote more powerfully than most during his lifetime. The author of the “Communist Manifesto” and “Das Kapital,” Marx’s theories and thinking had a profound influence on modern political, economic and social thought. His final words were Joan Crawford-like, in that they were spoken in frustration at his housekeeper. When pressed for his final thoughts, Marx clearly felt as though he’d already said enough already – and it’s difficult to disagree.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”
Nathan Hale

“Tomorrow, I shall no longer be here.”
Nostradamus

“I am perplexed. Satan, get out!”
Aleister Crowley

“Drink to me, drink to my health. You know I can’t drink any more.”
Pablo Picasso

#1: “I’m bored with it all.”
Winston Churchill

The Prime Minister of Great Britain during World War Two, Winston Churchill is most famous for his rousing speeches and “never give up” philosophy. That makes his final words all the more potent. The wartime leader reportedly relayed his boredom shortly before slipping into a stroke-induced unconsciousness from which he would never wake. Churchill died aged 90, but had already offered his thoughts on death, 15 years previous. “I am ready to meet my maker,” he’d said, “Whether my maker is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter.” Clearly, death did not worry Winston!

Do you agree with our list? Whose last words did we miss? For more unforgettable top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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