10 Strange and Timely Deaths

1Mark Twain was Born and Died on the Same Day that Halley's Comet Appeared in the Sky

When American humorist and author Mark Twain was born on November 30, 1835, Halley's Comet appeared in the sky. Twain vowed he would "go out" with the comet when it passed again after its 75 year orbit. He said, "I came in with Halley's Comet... It is coming again ... and I expect to go out with it... The Almighty has said, no doubt: 'Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together." After a massive heart attack, Twain died on April 21, 1910, just a day after the comet emerged from the other side of the Sun.

2As Peanuts Ends Charles Shultz Dies

On December 14, 1999, cartoonist Charles Schultz announced his retirement after fifty years of drawing the Peanuts comic strip. He had no intention of letting anyone else continue the strip, saying, "Everything has to end. This is my excuse for existence. No one else will touch it.'' A lengthy and well-deserved retirement was not meant to be; Schultz died on February 12, 2000 of colon cancer, just a day before the last Peanuts strip was published.

3Founding Father Thomas Jefferson Passed Away on the 4th of July

In 1776, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin drafted the Declaration of Independence. On July 4th of that year, the document was signed and the United States of America became an independent nation.

The third President of the United States and the principal author of the document, Thomas Jefferson, died on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration's signing. His last words were, "Is it the 4th?" When he was told it was, he passed peacefully.

4John Adams Dies on the Same Day as Thomas Jefferson

During John Adams' tenure as the second President of The United States, he and his predecessor Thomas Jefferson had many disagreements about government policy and parted ways. It was well after their presidential terms that the two remaining Founding Fathers resumed their friendship.

From his deathbed on July 4, 1826, fifty years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, a frail John Adams' last words were, "Thomas Jefferson still survives." He was mistaken; Jefferson had died five hours earlier.

5Man Whose Birth was Featured in the First Issue of Life Dies when the Magazine Ceases Publication

In 1936, the first issue of Life magazine hit the stands. The first edition was titled "A Life Begins" and featured the birth of a baby, fittingly named George Story. Over the years, the editors followed Story's lifelong achievements.

By March 2000, Life magazine announced that it was printing its last issue. George Story died of heart failure a mere month after Life magazine's demise. The last issue was aptly titled "A Life Ends."

6Composer's Fear of the Number 13 Kills Him on the 13th of July

Austrian composer Arnold Shoenberg had a debilitating lifelong fear of the number 13 (also known as triskaidekaphobia). He was born on September 13, 1874 and believed that his fate was tied to that date. His phobia was so intense that he changed the title of his composition Moses und Aaron to Moses und Aron, because the former had 13 letters.

During his 76th year, Shoenberg was reminded by an astrologer that the numbers 7+6 added up to 13. Fraught with anxiety on July 13, 1951, he stayed in bed all day crippled by fear and depression. As the clock approached midnight his wife entered the room to scold him for wasting the day. She said, "About a quarter to midnight I looked at the clock and said to myself: another quarter of an hour and then the worst is over.  Then the doctor called me. Arnold's throat rattled twice, his heart gave a powerful beat and that was the end." His superstitious nature likely caused his death, which was reportedly of unknown causes.

7Baritone Opera Star Dies on Stage While Singing about Death

Opera singer Leonard Warren died onstage during a performance of the third act aria of Verdi's La Forza del Destino (The Force of Destiny) at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. After he sang the lines “Morir! Tremenda cosa!” (“To die! Tremendous moment!”), he continued with "Urna fatale dal mio destino" ("O fatal pages ruling my destiny") before collapsing. The cause of death was a massive cerebral hemorrhage.

8General Who was Killed by Sniper Fire while Mocking Sharpshooters

John Sedgwick was a general in the Union Army during the U.S. Civil War. During the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House Sedgwick rallied his troops to go into battle. Confederate snipers were close by, hindering their preparations. As his men dodged bullets, Sedgwick, seemingly immune to fear, announced to a soldier who was under cover, "Why, my man, I am ashamed of you, dodging that way. They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." Seconds later, he was shot in the face and killed instantly.

9Widow Dies 56 Years After Her Husband on the Same Day

88-year-old Margarete Soder and her daughter Renate Burls were on their way to the cemetery to mark the anniversary of beloved husband and father Emil Soder. Soder passed away in a workplace accident on July 29, 1957.

Margarete and Renate made the trip annually to leave flowers on his grave, but on July 29, 2013, they were struck by another car. Renate suffered only minor injuries, but her mother was not so lucky. Margarete was killed 56 years to the day after Emil passed.

No charges were filed against the other driver, as Renate explained, "Dad was killed in an accident and, for mum to be taken in an accident, it was clearly God's plan....it's such a 'God moment', and why I know He did that, because there's no other explanation."

10Identical Twins Die on the Same Road, on the Same Day, a Mile Apart from Each Other

In 2002 in Raahe, Finland, 70-year-old identical twin brothers died on the same road on the same day. What makes the case even more unusual is that both were struck by trucks while riding their bicycles in a snowstorm. The brothers died two hours and a mile and a half apart from one another, with the second brother not knowing that the first had been killed since the information had not been released to the family.