“It’s better to burn out than to fade away” —Neil Young
Whether or not you agree with Young’s words, it’s hard to deny that a lot of famous people seem to die young. However short their life spans, these actors, writers, musicians, and leaders all managed to make their mark on history in a big way.
20. King Tut
Born c. 1341 BCE, died c. 1323 BCE, age 19.
King Tutankhamun was a pharaoh in the 18th Egyptian dynasty more than 3,000 years ago. His tomb was found by archaeologists in 1922, and since then he’s become one of the most famous ancient Egyptian kings. However, his reign didn’t last long: He died at 19 years old. From what we know, the cause of death was likely an infected leg.
19. Alexander the Great
Born July 20, 356 BCE, died June 13, 323 BCE, age 32.
Known as one of the greatest military leaders in human history, Alexander of Macedonia led his armies across Persia on a campaign that lasted over a decade. He was never defeated in battle, and the empire he created was the largest that the world had ever seen at that time. However, his life of unending conquest and battle took its toll: He died of malaria at age 32.
Born August 31, 12 AD, died January 24, 41 AD, age 28.
Emperor of Rome for a little over three years, Caligula (real name Gaius Caesar) was known as one of the Empire’s more cruel leaders. He eliminated political rivals and forced parents to watch their own sons be executed. Eventually, he declared himself to be a god, and the people of Rome had had enough. He was assassinated by a group of guards in 41 AD well before his 29th birthday.
17. Joan of Arc
Born c. 1412, died May 30, 1431, age 19.
Jeanne D’Arc, or “The Maid of Orléans,” was a young French woman who, after having visions of God, helped lead the French to victory over the English at Orléans during the Hundred Years war. Captured by the English a year later, she was convicted of heresy and burned at the stake.
16. Christopher Marlowe
Baptized February 26, 1564, died May 30, 1593, age 29.
Though he’s second fiddle to Shakespeare today, in his time, Christopher Marlowe was a hugely successful and influential playwright. His play The Tragicall History of Doctor Faustus was by far his most popular and enduring. He was killed in 1593 in a fight with three men over the bill at an inn.
15. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Born January 27, 1756, died December 5, 1791, age 35.
The name Mozart is up there with names like Einstein and Michelangelo as someone who represents the very peak of their field. But while his career was successful and prolific, it didn’t last long. In his early thirties, his mental and physical health began deteriorating, and he died at age 35 of uncertain causes.
14. John Keats
Born October 31, 1795, died February 23, 1821, age 25.
British poet John Keats’ poetry was met with a lukewarm response in his lifetime, but has since become revered for its imagery and philosophy. Keats contracted tuberculosis in 1819, and died just two years later.
13. Emily Brontë
Born July 30, 1818, died December 19, 1848, age 30.
One of the Brontë sisters, along with Charlotte and Anne, Emily was made famous by her novel Wuthering Heights, which is still considered a classic of English literature. It would be her only successful work before she died of tuberculosis in 1848.
12. Ritchie Valens
Born, May 13, 1941, died February 3rd, 1959, age 17.
Another young star taken too soon on “The Day the Music Died.” The first hispanic rock star, Valens quit high school at 16 years old to tour as a rock musician. Valens was just 17 when he died along with Holly and The Big Bopper.
11. Stuart Sutcliffe
Born June 23, 1940, died April 10, 1962, age 21.
Sometimes called “The Fifth Beatle,” Sutcliffe was a close friend of John Lennon’s and the original bass player for the group. However, he would leave the band in 1961, never even recording in studio with them and seeing none of their success. He died from a cerebral hemorrhage in 1962, before the Beatles had even charted a single hit.
The guy with sunglasses
10. Marilyn Monroe
Born June 1, 1926, died August 5, 1962, age 36.
In her lifetime, Monroe was one of the biggest stars in the world, and she’s still considered a sex symbol today. She starred in films such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondesand Some Like It Hot, and had high-profile marriages with baseball legend Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller. Monroe died of a drug overdose in 1962. According to the coroner’s report, Marilyn Monroe overdosed on at least 40 Nembutal pills, but there wasn’t a single pill found in Marilyn’s stomach. The coroner explained that this was likely because she was an addict, and as such, her body would have digested the pills faster. This explanation hasn’t satisfied conspiracy theorists who maintain the there was foul play.
9. Sylvia Plath
Born October 27, 1932, died February 11, 1963, age 30.
Plath’s novel The Bell Jar and her poetry collections The Colossus and Ariel are all still popular today, and her Collected Poems won a Pulitzer Prize in 1982. Plath is also remembered for her troubled marriage to poet Ted Hughes and her struggles with depression; she committed suicide in 1963.
8. Brian Epstein
Born September 19, 1934, died August 27, 1967, age 32.
Stu Sutcliffe and many other people were called “The Fifth Beatle” over the years, but Paul McCartney himself said “If anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was Brian.” The band’s manager, Epstein influenced the Fab Four in terms of dress and performance, and played a major role in their meteoric success. In 1966, the Beatles retired from live performances, and Epstein’s influence waned. He died from a drug overdose a year later.
7. Otis Redding
Born September 9, 1941, died December 10, 1967, age 26.
Known as the King of Southern Soul, Otis Redding was an early legend of rock and roll, popular with both black and white audiences. He died in a plane crash, along with four members of his backup band, in 1967.
6. Yuri Gagarin
Born March 9, 1934, died March 27, 1968, age 34.
Gagarin was the Russian cosmonaut who famously became the first person to travel to space in 1961. His flight lasted just 108 minutes, and he travelled around the Earth at 27,400 kilometers per hour. He died in 1968 in a plane crash before he could return to space again.
5. River Phoenix
Born August 23, 1970, died October 31, 1993, age 23.
Older brother to Joaquin Phoenix, River Phoenix was a teen idol whose roles ranged from the troubled Chris Chambers in Stand By Me to young Indy in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. He died from a drug overdose outside the famous Viper Room in West Hollywood in 1993.
4. Tupac Shakur
Born June 16, 1971, died September 13, 1996, age 25.
Tupac was one of biggest names in the gangsta rap scene of the nineties. He was closely involved in gangs in his early life, which inspired his music but which also created tensions for him as his fame grew. He was shot and killed by an unknown person in 1996, likely because of the growing East Coast/West Coast rap feud.
3. The Notorious B.I.G.
Born May 21, 1972, died March 9, 1997, age 24.
If Tupac was the face of West Coast gangsta rap, Biggie was the same for the East Coast. He was discovered by Puff Daddy in the early nineties, and would go on to record some of the most popular rap music ever created. He was killed in 1997 by another unknown gunman, potentially again in connection to the East Coast/West Coast feud.
2. Princess Diana
Born July 1, 1961, died August 31, 1997, age 36.
The mother of Prince William and Prince Harry and the onetime wife of Prince Charles, Princess Diana was a hugely popular figure in the British Commonwealth in her lifetime, and was known for her humanitarian efforts. Her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996 shocked the world but she remained popular. She was killed in a car crash, along with her boyfriend Dodi Fayed, in 1997. Twenty years after the fatal car crash, a firefighter named Xavier Gourmelon revealed Princess Diana’s last words, spoken before she as she was pulled from the wreckage: “My God, what’s happened?” She suffered cardiac arrest shortly after being loaded onto a stretcher. She was resuscitated, but died later in hospital of her injuries.
The same firefighter also spoke about how how Diana’s bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, tried to reach the princess from the front seat of the car, but his substantial injuries prevented him from doing so. “He kept asking for the princess, saying, ‘Where is she? Where is she?’” Xavier said. “But my team told him to keep calm and not speak. I told him that none of my men spoke English so it was better for him to keep still and not move. I told him not to worry we were looking after everyone.”
Born January 16, 1979, died August 25, 2001, age 22.
Aaliyah became a star early in her life, signing a recording contract at age 12 and releasing her first hit album at age 15. She was killed in a plane crash at 22 years old, just shortly after she had starred in her first film and released her third album.
Source : factinate.com