Monday, December 15, 2008

Famous Suicides

Had a conversation earlier about famous suicides, and so I did some surfing on the web to learn more about some of them. In doing so, I came across many more famous suicide stories, and I was intrigued. There are so many of them out there... here are a few that caught my interest, which I didn't feel were all that well known.

Did you know that two of Bing Crosby's sons killed themselves with shotguns independently? I suppose it might have been bigger news back in the day, but I don't think it's household knowledge.

The e-mail spammer guy, Edward Davidson, that they called the "spam king" who was indicted last year actually escaped from his minimum security prison earlier this year and went on to kill his wife and one of his daughters before taking his own life.

Famous trader, Jesse Livermore, shot himself 11 years after he made a fortune (~$100MM) from the Great Crash of 1929. Long ago I read Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, which was purportedly a fictionalized account of his life. I don't recall there being any suicide in that story though.

King Zhou of Shang, the last king of the Shang Dynasty, killed himself by surrounding himself with all of his treasures and then setting his palace on fire. Apparently, he was a ridiculously corrupt king, and he had some of the most extravagent constructions at his palace. He had built a large pool filled with alcohol and an island of meat in the middle of it. This allowed him and his guests to float around in canoes while eating from the meat island or drinking from the pool as they pleased.

Anson Jones was the last president of the Republic of Texas. I guess what happened with him was that he got pissed off after Sam Houston was chosen over him to represent Texas. Later on he thought the state's legislature would send him to the Senate, but he received no votes. This tipped him over the edge, so he offed himself after dinner one day by shooting himself.

George Eastman, founder of Eastman Kodakand inventor of roll film, killed himself after being hit with a spinal disorder causing him intense pain. According to internet sources, he left a nice succinct suicide note that read: To my Friends, My work is done. Why wait?


gaamblor said...

Don't do it the market will turn!

jcraven said...

Amen to what gaamblor said. I was just thinking, wow, it's the holidays and you are blogging about suicides. Hang in there...oops, not literally! :)

Brute Force said...

Haha, this is what I get for watching the Witness to Jonestown replay on MSNBC.

Unknown said...

You know what's creepy? My husband's old company used to use the whole "drink the kool aid" thing almost as a motto. Scary!!! Hehe...