#1 Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882)
Charles Robert Darwin was an English naturalist and geologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors, and in a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding. Darwin faced death with a very brave soul. He wisely declared:
“I am not the least afraid to die.”
Other famous last words include both the literal utterings, such as the sayings of Jesus on the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing”, or “Et tu, Brute?” from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and the ironical sense of words said before a disaster, such as: “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance!” General John Sedgwick at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House immediately before being killed by enemy fire, “Let all brave Prussians follow me!” Field Marshal Kurt Christoph Graf von Schwerin at the Battle of Prague, immediately before getting hit in the head by a cannonball, or “Don’t worry about it … look, the clip is not even in it.” Terry Kath of the band Chicago, just before putting a pistol to his temple and pulling the trigger.