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January 1963

Famous Last Words

Arch Intern Med. 1963;111(1):133. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03620250137038

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Barnaby Conrad has had interesting careers. Who else could boast of being a matador, a worker in the foreign service, a piano player in a hotel, and a successful novelist who for a 6-month stint tripled in brass as Sinclair Lewis' chess opponent, companion, and secretary. Now, winged by a bull and having given up some of his swashbuckling and roving proclivities, he writes, paints, produces sculpture, and runs a bistro on the Barbary Coast in San Francisco. What put him into a mood to embalm in a new anthology the last words of famous people is something I do not know. Among the magpie collections I have festooned about me in a hit-or-miss way for many years is a collection of deathbed sayings. I thought it might work itself into an after-dinner speech or a short treatise. I had no ambition to write an anthology as comprehensive as Conrad's

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