50 Interesting Deathbed Incidents & Confessions

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26Conrad Hilton

When billionaire hotelier Conrad Hilton (Paris Hilton’s grandfather) was asked on his deathbed if he had any final words, he said “Leave the shower curtain on the inside of the tub” and then died.

27. In the early 1960s, Bob Dylan traveled across the nation while Woody Guthrie lied on his deathbed in order to play “Song to Woody” to Guthrie before his death.

28. Arnold Rothstein established countless rackets and casinos and was one of the richest mobsters during Prohibition. He was shot during a poker game, but on his deathbed, he refused to snitch. He said "You stick to your trade. I'll stick to mine" and "My mother did it."

29. George Washington said "Do not let my body be put into the vault in less than three days after I am dead" on his deathbed because he was afraid he'd be buried alive.

30. On his deathbed, Steve Jobs refused to wear an oxygen mask as he felt it was poorly designed.

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31James Allen

The Athenaeum in Boston holds the only known copy of the deathbed confessions of a 19th Century Massachusetts highway robber James Allen who ordered those memoirs to be printed, bound in skin taken from his back, and to be presented to the only man who ever stood up to him.

32. Napoleon III's defeat and surrender at the Battle of Sedan during the Franco-Prussian War haunted him for the rest of his life. On his deathbed his last words were a question posed to his doctor: “We were not cowards at Sedan, were we?”

33. On his deathbed, French physicist Ampère ordered the inscription on his tombstone to be “Tandem Felix” (Happy at Last).

34. When Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen was on his deathbed, an aide came into the room and asked if he was doing better. He answered, “on the contrary” and then died.

35. Private 1st Class Edward H. Ahrens during World War 2 was found clutching a sword surrounded by 13 dead Japanese soldiers. His final words to his commanding officer on his deathbed were “I guess they didn't know I was a marine.”

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Epicurus, the father of hedonism, died from a painful urinary blockage. On his deathbed, he still declared that he was happy because his "philosophical recollections counterbalances all these afflictions"

37. Poisoned former KGB spy, Alexander Litvinenko converted to Islam on his deathbed.

38. While on his deathbed, Alexander Graham Bell's wife (Mabel Gardiner Hubbard) begged him not to leave her. Bell's last word was, "No."

39. Evolutionary biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins has arranged for his final hour of life to be tape-recorded and to have witnesses present (as of March 2021). This is so nobody can say he had a death bed conversion to Christianity out of fear of burning in hell.

40. A man named Hiram Calder on his deathbed was discovered to have been born a woman, making him the first biological female to vote in Florida due to his participation in every election.

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41Freddie Mercury

Not long before his death, Freddie Mercury, confined to his bed, got to see an advance copy of the "Wayne's World" scene with Wayne and Garth headbanging to "Bohemian Rhapsody". He loved it and approved of the song's use in the film. The movie, in part, helped launch Queen's comeback in the USA.

42. When aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal was on his deathbed after sustaining a fatal injury from a crash, his last words were “Small sacrifices must be made.”

43. On his deathbed, Walt Disney scrawled his final words on a piece of paper: "Kurt Russell."

44. When Roman soldiers stopped the late senator Cicero, his final words before dying were “There is nothing proper about what you are doing, soldier, but do try to kill me properly”. He then bowed to the soldiers and was promptly decapitated.

45. On his deathbed, the last words of the French Grammarian Dominique Bouhours was “Soon I shall, or soon I will die: both are correct.”

46Frank Gusenberg

A gangster named Frank Gusenberg was shot 14 times in the St. Valentine’s Day massacre, but refused to identify his killer. His final words were, “I ain’t no copper.”

47. "Van Halen!" were the final words spoken by Dimebag Darrel (Darrell Abbott), former guitarist of Pantera and Damageplan moments before he was shot and killed on stage.

48. Elizabeth McWilliams was a nurse’s aide who took care of influenza patients in 1918. She worked tirelessly for patients before contracting the illness herself and dying. Her last words on her deathbed were “I am happy because I’ve tried to be a real American.”

49. While dying of stomach cancer and hospitalized in 1989, Osamu Tezuka (creator of Kimba and Astro Boy) was still able to draw tons of sketches with his pens and paper. His last words on his deathbed was “I’m begging you, let me keep working!” as a hospital nurse took away his pens and paper so he could rest.

50. Antarctic explorer Lawrence Oates sacrificed his life for his crew by walking to his death in −40 °F. His last words before dying were "I am just going outside and may be some time."


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