Sigmund Freud Committed Suicide

Yes, it’s true. After writing about how we still practice ‘blood rites’, it got me wondering who are some of the more well known victims. These are some of the people that either cracked under the weight or were just done with living and took their own lives. Who knows what caused these people break. I guess the Russian poet, Vladimir Mayakovsky, who committed suicide in 1930 summed it up best, “I don’t recommend it for others”.

  • River Phoenix, American actor, 1993 he was 23 years old
  • Anna Nicole Smith, American actor/model
  • Chris Farley, American comedian
  • Jimi Hendrix, American musician
  • John Belushi, American comedian, 1982, age 33
  • Janis Joplan, American musician, 1970 she was 27 years old
  • Elvis Presley, 1977, drug overdose
  • Dave Garroway (1982), original host of NBC’s Today Show
  • Forrest Howard Anderson (1989), Governor of Montana
  • Edwin Armstrong (1954), U.S. inventor of FM radio; jumped from a 13th floor window believing FM was a failure
  • Kurt Cobain (1994), Lead singer of the band Nirvana, gunshot to head
  • Dorothy Dandridge (1965), American singer and actress, first black woman nominated for Academy Award as Lead Actress
  • Gilles Deleuze (1995), French philosopher, jumped from apartment window
  • Nick Drake (1974), British singer-songwriter, overdose
  • George Eastman (1932), inventor of the Eastman Kodak Camera
  • Sigmund Freud (1939), founder of psychoanalysis (lethal dose of morphine)
  • Kurt Gödel (1978), German logician and mathematician (refused to eat any food)
  • Spalding Gray (2004), American playwright, drowned in Atlantic after jumping off Staten Island Ferry
  • Ernest Hemingway (1961), American novelist, shotgun blast to the head
  • Michael Hutchence (1997), lead singer of Australian rock band INXS
  • Edward Allen Hannegan (1859), U.S. Congressman from Indiana
  • Michael D. Harter (1896), U.S. Congressman from Ohio
  • Richard Jeni (2007), comedian
  • Samuel Austin Kendall (1933), congressman from Pennsylvania, self inflicted gunshot wound in the House Office Building
  • Preston King (1865), Senator from New York, leapt from ferryboat in New York Harbor
  • William Oswald Mills (1973), U.S. congressman from Maryland
  • John Milton (1865), Governor of Florida
  • Sylvia Plath (1963), American poetess, author and essayist
  • George Reeves (1959), American actor, played Superman on television
  • Thomas Caute Reynolds (1887), Governor of Missouri
  • Thomas Reynolds (1844), Governor of Missouri
  • Thomas Jefferson Rusk (1857), senator from Texas
  • Socrates (399 BCE), Greek philosopher
  • Jesse B. Thomas (1853), U.S. Senator from Illinois
  • Hunter S. Thompson (2005), American author, gunshot
  • Alan Turing (1954), British mathematician and computer scientist
  • Vincent van Gogh (1890), Dutch painter, gunshot to chest
  • Sid Vicious (1979), bassist of the Sex Pistols, heroin overdose
  • John Gilbert Winant (1947), Governor of New Hampshire
  • Marion Anthony Zioncheck (1936), congressman from Washington, jumped out of office building
  • George Washington Adams (1829), Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and the son of John Quincy Adams
  • Marilyn Monroe (1962), US Actress, found dead and naked in her bed at her California home from an overdose of sleeping pills
  • Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1893), Russian composer
  • Robert Adams, Jr. (1906), congressman from Pennsylvania
  • Anson Jones (1858), congressman, and the last president of the Republic of Texas
  • Thomas McKee Bayne (1894), U.S. Congressman from Pennsylvania
  • John Gilbert Winant (1947), Governor of New Hampshire
  • Robert M. La Follette, Jr. (1953), Senator from Wisconsin
  • James H. Lane (1866), Senator from Kansas, general in Civil War

You can see this list and more at Wikipedia. Also, “A Surprisingly Long List of People Who’ve Attempted Suicide” at Mental Floss.

13 comments On Sigmund Freud Committed Suicide

  • There are many more who haven’t.

  • Freud’s case was apparently a suicide “assisted” by his physician, after many unsuccessful operations and long-term pain from mouth cancer. It seems Freud had asked for death, but it would be hard to say whether the physician intended death or pain relief. It is still an important question just where society should “draw the line” in such cases.

  • Interesting, but highly disputable. Makes me want to ask you to define “suicide” first before you compile such a list.
    I always thought that suicide has something to do with the knowing and wilful decision to die. Overdosing on drugs or asphyxiation on your own vomit after a drinking binge doesn’t really count in my definition. It is an accident.
    Or a professional hazard if you are a spaced-out musician with an ongoing drug-problem.
    Also, since Camus all these real suicides look so …blimpish and nonprogressive.

  • Hey Dave, do you think Camus’ car crash was intentional?

  • No, I don’t think his car crash was intentional. He didn’t drive the car himself.
    And he condemned suicide as he always condemned nihilism as an answer to the absurdity of life. This is his conclusion in ‘The Myth of Sisyphus’, a book that deals exclusively with suicide.

  • Elvis died of a bad heart on an od.

  • Actually, John Belushi, Janis Joplin, Chris Farley and River Phoenix did NOT commit suicide, they overdoses on drugs and all of their medical records classify their deaths as ‘ACCIDENTAL overdose’… Jimi Hendrix got too drunk and died choking on his own vomit (asphyxiation) so I doubt he intended on dying. There are far easier ways to commit suicide than going throughh the agony of choking on his own vomit. His death is NOT and has never been considered a suicide.
    As for Kurt Cobain, like Marilyn Monroe, the case was reopened under suspicion of murder.

  • Hey Jane. I guess this title was misleading. I said, “These are some of the people that either cracked under the weight or were just done with living and took their own lives.”

    I’ve always wondered how an overdose can be accidental.

    • You’re coming off as awfully presumptuous, and more than a little self-righteous. I’d also throw in very naive; esp. about drug use. I had a girl use heroin in my bathroom once (without telling me, of course). I had to break the lock to get in. She had scored some stuff that was a higher grade than she was used to. She would’ve probably been fine if she had used the same dosage of the low-grade stuff she usually got. Is that so hard to figure out?
      Len Bias died right after being picked #1 in the NBA draft. He did some high grade coke, w/o being a user before. Do you REALLY think he wanted to die? “Oh no, millions of dollars and NBA championships will be bestowed upon me! Nooooo!!!”. Get real.
      Also, the very term “overdose” is over used and misleading. A person can die from one use of a drug. That does not in any way mean they used too much of the drug. And the great variation in products used to cut drugs or are otherwise mixed with a pure drug can effect how a person reacts to it. I believe Anna Nicole Smith was just murdered, and her son. too. Stern is a soulless piece of shit imo. Hunter S. Thompson’s death was highly suspicious as well. Esp. since he was on the phone with his wife at the time, and wanted her to come home to help him on an article.

  • If you’re out partying and taking drugs recreationally, and you die from it, I don’t think that falls under either of your categories. River Phoenix and many others on your list clearly did not intend to commit suicide, nor did they crack under any weight. Some people simply overdo it and indulge in more than their body can take. When that happens, it’s an accident.

  • There is no way to know if those “accidental” overdoses are really accidental. Absolutely no proof either way. Whether intentional or accidental, the body reacts to an overdose (at least of a CNS depressant, which is almost always the case) in the same way – respiratory depression, often asphixiation. As long as we don’t know for certain that it is a suicide it is officially classified as accidental. But it’s not logical or reasonable to say that “It’s an accident,” when it could very well have been suicide.

  • Socrates was condemned to death by a mass jury. As a courtesy, the legal system permitted him to take his own life: it is hardly suicide.

  • John, not to be pedantic but taking ones own life is kinda the definition of suicide.

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.

Site Footer