Death Club

“No, you certainly can’t.”[1] Those were the last words ever to be uttered by President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. At 12:30 p.m., Central Standard Time, a bullet penetrated Kennedy’s neck, slightly damaged a spinal vertebra, hit his right lung, and exited his throat. He was declared dead at 1:00 p.m. The date was November 22, 1963.

“And then, though are technological skill may help us survive a little longer, our civilization will have died at heart, and will – one dare not even add “unfortunately” – be swept away.”[2] Those were the last words ever to be published by Clive Staples Lewis, also known as CS Lewis. At 5:30 Greenwich Mean Time, Lewis collapsed due to kidney failure and passed away. Not long after. The date was November 22, 1963.

“LSD, 100 micrograms, intramuscular.”[3] Those were the last words Aldous Huxley wrote to his wife, Laura. Suffering from laryngeal cancer, Huxley made a written request for where pain medication before he passed away at 5:20 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. The date was November 22, 1963.

The assassination of President John F. Kennedy overshadowed the deaths of both CS Lewis and Aldous Huxley. An article in New York magazine titled “The Eclipsed Celebrity Death Club,” notes that “the championship trophy for badly time death, though, goes to a pair of British writers. Aldo’s Huxley, the author of Brave New World, died the same day as CS Lewis, who wrote the chronicles of Narnia series. Unfortunately, for both of their legacies, that day was November 22, 1963, just as John Kennedy’s motorcade past the Texas school book depository. Huxley, at least, made it interesting: at his request, his wife shot him up with LSD a couple hours before he died, and he tripped his way out of this world.”[4]

[1] “Testimony of Mrs. John F. Kennedy”, Warren Commission, p. 179.
[2] C.S. Lewis, “We Have No ‘Right To Happiness’ (Speaking Out),” The Saturday Evening Post, no. 40 (December 21, 1963): 10.
[3] “Account of Huxley’s death on Letters of Note”,, 25 March 2010.
[4] Christopher Bonanos, “The Eclipsed Celebrity Death Club – Slideshow – Daily Intel,” New York Magazine, June 26, 2009.

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