Steve Jobs, the enigmatic co-founder of Apple Inc., became a little more enigmatic at the end of his life on Oct. 5.
Jobs, who suffered from pancreatic cancer, was in the final moments of his life when he uttered his last words:
“Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow…”
Those words were revealed by his sister, who delivered Jobs’ eulogy at a memorial service on Oct. 16. Jobs, 56, was reportedly worth about $7 billion at the time of his death.
Jobs was apparently gazing far into the distance when he made his final pronouncement. He wasn’t really a religious man, but was known to be an incurable romantic.
What did he see? Did he have a moment of clarity at the end of his life, the kind we all wish we might have?
Who knows. Some say at the moment of death, the mind summons the kinds of thoughts it needs to cope with the loss of oxygen and blood pumping to it.
Or it just reacts to the oncoming loss of consciousness with wishful imagery.
Whatever the case, it was interesting to hear what Jobs had to say as he crossed over.
Jobs’ last words have already been added to the list of famous last words spoken by famous people.
It’s nice to know someone is taking this stuff down.
That’s the difference between famous people speaking their last words and the rest of us. Nobody writes it down when we mumble our final thoughts.
But what the heck. Does it really matter?
The Internet has several sites devoted to last words spoken by the famous and near-famous.
Some may be fairly well-known, as they have been recalled many times.
Oscar Wilde, the famous author and caustic social critic, is reported to have said: “Either that wallpaper goes or I do.”
Then there’s President John Adams, who maintained a nearly lifelong feud with his political rival and fellow president Thomas Jefferson.
Adams died on the Fourth of July, 1826 – exactly 50 years after he and Jefferson signed the Declaration of Independence. Adams is reported to have died saying: “Thomas Jefferson still survives,” not knowing that Jefferson had died hours earlier that same day.
Here’s some more you might not have heard:
“I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis.” – Humphrey Bogart, actor
“Josephine…” – Napoleon, failed world conqueror
“Now I shall go to sleep. Goodnight.” – Lord George Byron, writer
“I’m bored with it all.” – Winston Churchill, British statesman
“That was the best ice cream soda I ever tasted.” – Lou Costello, comedian
“Goodnight my darlings. I’ll see you tomorrow.” – Noel Coward, writer
“That was a great game of golf, fellers.” – Bing Crosby, singer and actor
“It is very beautiful over there.” – Thomas Edison, inventor
“I’ve never felt better.” – Douglas Fairbanks Jr., actor
“I’ve had a hell of a lot of fun and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.” – Errol Flynn, actor
“I’ve had 18 straight whiskies. I think that’s the record…” – Dylan Thomas, poet
I sometimes wonder what I might say on my deathbed, but I’m definitely not ready to start rehearsing it.