Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh

(1853 – 1890)

A post-impressionist painter, van Gogh’s work is known for it rough beauty and emotional honesty. If you ever see one of his paintings up close, stare at it for a while and you’ll see what people mean when they talk about his work. My two favorites are  “The Potato Eaters” and “The Starry Night”. I also like “Sorrowing Old Man”, but I’m not really an expert. I just like his stuff…..

He didn’t start painting until his late twenties, died at 37, and still produced 2100 artworks. He had mental health issues all his life, and shot himself(reportedly, but no gun was ever found) and died 29 hours later from infection of the wound. According to his brother Theo, his last words were, “The sadness will last forever”.

His story is way to deep and complicated to list everything here, it’s a fascinating read tho.

He is buried with his brother Theo  Auvers-sur-Oise Town Cemetery, Isle de france, France.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald

(1896 – 1940)

Regarded as one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, he was an author and a poet.

The Great Gatsby, The Beautiful and the Damned, This Side Of Paradise, Tender is the Night, to name a few, kind of says it all.

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” was a short story of his. His wife was Zelda Sayre (1900 -1948). She suffered a lot and spent time in mental institutions, and he was an alcoholic from his college days. A troubled marriage to say the least. His works are still popular today and are required reading in some schools.

He put out some deep thoughts, that’s for sure. He is buried in  St. Mary’s Cemetery, Rockville, MD

Check out his stuff……

Howard Hughes

Howard Hughes

(1905 – 1976)

A brilliant  business magnate, a pioneer aviator, film producer, philanthropist, he was one of the richest men in the world. A lot of people remember him for the image that was projected of him at the end of his life, but he set speed records, made movies, and built a fortune so big even he couldn’t control it at the end. His net worth when he died was about 1.5 billion , and that is 6.5 billion in todays dollars. “The Aviator” is a great movie with Leonardo Di Caprio that explores his life. Just my opinion, but until the plane crash that nearly killed him, I think he had about the same neurosis’s and OCD’s as the rest of us, maybe a little more intense.  After the crash began the spiral.

This is how ahead of his time he was_ I saw a video of him of you tube, and it was a slow motion clip of his golf swing  he had done so he could study what he was doing wrong. That was the forties, folks, before television, before video, before instant replays, and waaaaaay before ESPN. I’ll bet people thought he was crazy.

Another strange one:

“The Outlaw” was movie that Hughes produced in 1943, and the notoriety of the film is basically Hughes’ obsession with Jane Russell’s Boobs. There is an argument for that obsession tho, LOL. He even helped design her special bra’s to accentuate her, uh, assets. In her autobiography, Russell said she secretly discarded it , and wore her own. He had so many problems with the Hollywood Production Code Administration,  the film wasn’t released until 1946.

He is buried in Glenwood Cemetery, Houston, Texas


Actress Gene Tierney is buried there too….her post will be up soon.

George Gordon, Lord Byron

George Gordon, Lord Byron

(1788 – 1824)

The most flamboyant of the romantic poets, Byron lived a life that is almost mythic.

Known for his excesses, he lived scandalously(huge debts, countless affairs with both sexes, even a rumored affair with his half sister, radical political beliefs), and lived his life as he wanted, trying(and it sounds like succeeding) to not be a hypocrite……. Only 36 when he died, it’s had to believe he did so much in that length of time. Even so, he is regarded as one of the greatest British Poets, and he is still widely read and influential.  She walks in beauty is an awesome poem, my favorite anyway. Read his works if you get a chance, and read about his life, it’s better than fiction. The “Byronic Hero” is the image that pervades his works, and the model is used by other authors.

He is buried in St. Mary Magdalene Church, Nottinghamshire, England . There were rumors that his heart was kept and buried by the Greeks(He died in Greece) but I’m not sure about that one.

“Wild Bill” Hickock


James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickock

(1837 – !876)

Wild Bill was a gambler, gunfighter, and lawman of the old west. Definitely a folk hero, some of his exploits have been fictionalized. Known for not wanting his back to be unguarded, he ironically died when he was shot in the back of the head and killed during a poker game  at the age of 39. The hand he was holding, a pair of aces and a pair of 8’s, has come to be known as the “deadman’s hand”. Makes you wonder what the kicker was(that’s the fifth card). It’s been the subject of debate since the murder.

He was killed in Deadwood, Dakota Territory(now South Dakota) and is buried there at Mount Moriah Cemetery.


Calamity Jane is buried next to him.

Hickock was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 1979.


Louise Brooks

Louise Brooks

(1906 – 1985)

Louise was an American dancer and actress. Her first film was an uncredited role in 1925, and she made several silents in America and Europe. She was a wild child for sure, read her autobiography. It’s called “Lulu in Hollywood”, quite a commentary and quite a life. Pandora’s Box is one of her best known films, and remember, this is the silent era, it explores modern sexual mores and even lesbianism. She was quite a girl, and lived her life the way she wanted. After her fall from films, she worked at Saks Fifth Avenue for a while. Beautiful, beautiful lady, that has been re-discovered and has quite a following today. There is even a “Louise Brooks Society”.

She died in 1985 and is buried at the Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Rochester, New York.

Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac

(1922 – 1966)

A pioneer of the “Beat Generation”, he was an author and poet. His literary prestige grows every year, and all of his works are still in print. He covered just about every topic, and during his life, he was an underground celebrity. Of course now that he is gone the Establishment recognizes his genius. Isn’t it funny how often that happens.

Best known as an author, his poetry is something to read too. Check out his work, he was way ahead of his time.

He is buried in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the Edson Cemetery

Olive Thomas

Olive Thomas

(1894 – 1920)

Olive started out as an illustrator’s model, then became a Ziegfeld Girl. In 1916 she made the first of over twenty movies in a four year career. She was married to actor/director Jack Pickford, the younger brother of super famous Mary Pickford. She died at age 25 from drinking mercury bichloride by mistake that had been prescribed to husband Jack.(It was topically applied to treat sores from syphilis ). The label being in French might have caused some confusion also.

Some claimed it was suicide, but evidence points to a horrible mistake.  Her death was considered one of the first major scandals in Hollywood, because at the time, rumors ran rampant about how she died. She was a legendary beauty in Hollywood, even Alberto Vargas immortalized her in one of his pin-up paintings.

She is buried at the Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, NY


Miles Davis  and Bat Masterson are buried there too……lots of other famous people there if you get the chance to look it up.

Alan Seeger

Alan Seeger

(1888 – 1916)

One of the Lost Poets of the Great War(WW l), Alan Seeger volunteered and fought for the French and was killed before the United States entered the war. He fought simply because he thought it was the right thing to do.His poem “Rendezvous” is one of my favorite poems. His other ones are good too, but this one is incredible.

His nephew is Folk Singer Pete Seeger, a legend in his own right.

For a while during the war, his grave was unknown, but in the Twenties it was discovered that he is buried at No. 1 Ossuaire, Lihons, France .


The other “Lost” Poets:

Rupert Brooke

Wilfred Owen

Isaac Rosenberg

Edward Thomas

John McCrae

(McCrae wrote another great poem, “In Flander’s Fields”)

Agnes Moorehead

Agnes Moorehead

(1900 – 1974)

American character actress. One of the original Mercury Theater Players, she was Margo Lane to Orson Welles’ Lamont Cranston, A.K.A  “The Shadow”. She was in many movies as well as a performer on radio throughout her career. Her best known role might be “Endora”, Samantha’s mother, on Bewitched.  She Had one Prime Time Emmy Award and two Golden Globe Awards  to go with her four Academy Award and six Emmy Nominations. She died of cancer in 1974, and was one of the 46 members of the company of actors and crew of the production of “The Conqueror” (John Wayne and Susan Hayward among them) that were exposed radiation from nuclear testing in the desert.

She is buried in the Mausoleum at Dayton Memorial Park, in Dayton, Ohio.