115 years ago today, writer Oscar Wilde died in his shabby Paris hotel room after reportedly joking, “This wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. Either it goes or I do,” a fitting end for an exuberant personality.
While most of our last words are likely to remain unrecorded, many historical figures’ final bon mots eventually find their way to our ears and can teach us a thing or two about going out in fashion. Grand, wise, poetic, witty, or poignant, here are 19 parting words from famous people who welcomed or defied death in style, proving that great minds often remain so until the end:
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