In the currently running Thread about young Frances Cobain, it is suggested by Hippy Hollow that Kurt Cobain’s suicide “might have been the most famous of a generation”.
Myself being of Kurt Cobain’s generation, it is certainly the most famous suicide of my own personal consciousness. Got me wondering about where Cobain would fit in a list of most famous suicides of the 20th Century and it struck me that I can name very very few “famous suicides” off the top of my head.
Without any research I thought only of Ernest Hemingway, George Reeves (who may not have been a suicide), Budd Dwyer (whose fame really is because of his suicide on live T.V., and had I not grown up in Pennsylvania thus having clear memories of all the news coverage I probably would not be able to name him today) and David Strickland, though I had to research Strickland’s name knowing him only as “the actor from Suddenly Susan who committed suicide”. I was “pretty sure” that Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, and Freddie Prinze were suicides but I had to actually look them up to confirm.
So, in terms of “famousness” I was only able to come up with seven (besides Cobain) off the top of my head. Looking at Wiki’s list of suicides I’m not really struck too much by the “famousness” of any of the suicides listed (fame of the person yes, but fame of the suicide not as much).
What say Dopers?
Who were the most famous suicides of the 20th Century?