The Very Concise Suicide Note by Kodak Founder George Eastman: “My Work is Done. Why Wait?” (1932)

eastman suicide

In 1932 George Eastman, the 77 year old entrepreneur who established the Eastman Kodak Company, popularized the use of roll film, and brought photography to the mainstream, found himself in declining health. Suffering from lumbar spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal that can lead to considerable back pain and difficulty walking, Eastman was depressed and increasingly disabled. On March 14th, he committed suicide by firing a single gunshot through his heart. An act as brief, and to the point, as the note he left behind. It read:

To my friends

My work is done

Why wait?

GE

via Ranker + Letters of Note

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Early Experiments in Color Film (1895-1935)

Anne Sexton, Confessional Poet, Reads “Wanting to Die” in Ominous 1966 Video

 



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  1. Bart says . . . | August 19, 2013 / 4:01 pm

    To answer his question: he could have improved his handwriting.

  2. nick says . . . | August 19, 2013 / 9:57 pm

    Now THAT is a Kodak moment.

  3. annapolyanna says . . . | August 20, 2013 / 5:00 am

    He had vision, a sad end.

  4. Sinjin Smythe says . . . | August 20, 2013 / 6:46 am

    I have a deep respect for the man, his life, and his decision at the end. The choice to not suffer some protracted descent into physical inability and pain, and to retain what dignity a person can is difficult but practical. Giving up life in favor of escaping pain. Wow! I hope it isn’t that way for me.

  5. Hal says . . . | August 21, 2013 / 4:20 pm

    The famous last words never spoken. I admire him for have the balls to do it.

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