41 Shocking Facts About Death Surrounding Popular Icons

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1Charlie Parker

Legendary saxophonist Charlie Parker's heroin and alcohol addictions were so severe, that after his death at 34 years of age, the coroner mistakenly estimated him to be between 50 and 60 years old.


2. Nikola Tesla once paid an overdue hotel bill with a 'working model' of his 'death beam'. He warned the management never to open it without taking proper precautions to avoid detonation. After his death in 1943, the box was pried open and they found nothing but a bunch of old lab components.


3. Quentin Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt's son died flying for the US during World War 1. When his body was discovered behind enemy lines, the Germans gave him a full military burial with honors.


4. Isidor Straus, the owner of Macy's died on the Titanic. He refused to get in a lifeboat before women and children, and his wife refused to leave without him. She said, "I will not be separated from my husband. As we have lived, so will we die, together." They were last seen standing on the deck, arm in arm.


5. Authors C.S. Lewis and Aldous Huxley both died on November 22nd, 1963. Their deaths weren't as prominent in the news because of a more noteworthy death that occurred on that day: the assassination of John F. Kennedy.


6Kurt Gödel

Philosopher Kurt Gödel starved to death whilst his wife was in the hospital because he had an obsessive fear of being poisoned and would only eat food that she cooked.


7. Renowned British military surgeon James Barry was a pioneer in the medical field with a career spanning over 50 years. After his death in 1865 the nurse prepping his body for burial noted female anatomy and stretch marks from pregnancy. Barry had been born a woman named Margaret Ann Bulkley.


8. After L. Ron Hubbard's death in 1986, the Church of Scientology officially claimed that he voluntarily abandoned his physical body after it became an impediment to his work, and that he had left Earth to do scientific research on another planet—having "learned how to do it without a body."


9. Since Milton Hershey didn't have any children he and his wife opened an orphanage school and when he died, he left his entire fortune and the ownership of Hershey Chocolate Company in trust for the children in the school. Still today 70% of the company is owned by Milton Hershey School.


10. After the death of the first Chinese emperor, Shi Huangdi, his second oldest son forged a letter in the emperor's name, stating that the eldest son is to commit suicide and the second oldest son would become emperor. That plan worked.


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11Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley was injected with LSD on his deathbed and essentially tripped into death.


12. In 1998, a 23-year-old man named Michael Gentner in Ohio choked to death on a live goldfish he tried to swallow on a dare. In response to if anyone would be charged for the man's death, a police officer stated "If I dare you to jump off a bridge and you do it and you're 23 years of age, you're stupid."


13. Isaac Asimov died from complications of HIV. In 1983 got HIV from a blood transfusion during heart surgery. His doctors told him to keep it quiet. Ten years later, after most of Asimov's physicians had died, Asimov's family agreed that the HIV story should be made public.


14. When he was 26, Pete Maravich said "I don't want to play 10 years in the NBA and die of a heart attack at age 40" in an interview. He went on to play 10 years in the NBA and died of a heart attack at age 40.


15. When Pablo Picasso died at the age of 91, he left more than 45,000 works. In 1980 the Picasso estate was appraised at $250 million, but experts have said the true value was actually in the billions. Picasso did not leave a will so the division of his holdings took six years among seven heirs.


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16Henry Morgan

When the famous pirate Henry Morgan died, an amnesty was declared so pirates and privateers could come and pay their respects without fear of arrest. He was also given a state funeral in Port Royal, and buried with a 22-gun salute.


17. Rasputin's autopsy showed no signs of poisoning, no water in his lungs, and in-tact genitalia. He simply died from three bullet wounds and the popular story of his incredible survivability is likely completely inaccurate.


18. Theodore Roosevelt's mother (Martha Bulloch Roosevelt) died at age 49 and less than twelve hours later, his wife Alice Hathaway Lee Roosevelt died from what was diagnosed as acute kidney disease. In his diary that night, the 26-year-old Theodore placed a large X, along with the simple words “The light has gone out of my life.”


19. When George Washington died in 1799, the British Royal Navy was ordered to lower their flags to half mast. The London Morning Chronicle opined that ‘The whole range of history does not present to our view a character upon which we can dwell with such entire and unmixed admiration.’


20. Hours after Nintendo announced the death of their CEO, Satoru Iwata, a rainbow appeared over their headquarters in Kyoto, Japan. It was dubbed "The Rainbow Road to Heaven."


21Pope John XII

Pope John XII was the only Pope who was ever beaten to death by a jealous husband for sleeping with his wife. He was also accused of turning the papal palace into a brothel, sleeping with his niece, toasting the devil, ordaining a 10-year-old boy, and misusing papal funds to pay gambling debts.


22. In 1924, a Russian scientist named Alexander Bogdanov started blood transfusion experiments, hoping to achieve eternal youth. After 11 blood transfusions, he claimed he had improved his eyesight and stopped balding. He died after a transfusion with a student suffering from malaria and Tuberculosis (The student fully recovered).


23. Jermaine Fuller, the singer of Peanut Butter Jelly Time died in an 11-hour police standoff during which time his brother-in-law Snoop Dogg attempted to calm him down and surrender.


24. George Washington died when his doctors tried to cure his epiglottitis (i.e. inflamed throat) with bloodletting. He lost more than half his blood before they stopped the treatment, and died just hours later.


25. When William the Conqueror died his funeral was delayed for several days. By the time they laid him to rest his body was too bloated from decay to fit in his tomb. They tried to force it in and he exploded.

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