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U.S. History - How Did They Die?

We give you three choices. You choose the one that best describes how these people from U.S. history died.
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: March 7, 2023
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First submittedMarch 7, 2023
Times taken24,853
Average score66.7%
Rating4.38
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1. Tupac Shakur (1996)
Brain cancer
Drive-by shooting
Stabbed by a jealous lover
2. George Washington (1799)
Excessive bloodletting by doctors
Fell down the stairs
Infected axe wound from chopping wood
3. Michael Jackson (2009)
Fell from balcony in Berlin
Heat exhaustion
Overdose of prescription drugs
4. Ernest Hemingway (1961)
Dysentery during African safari
Hepatitis
Suicide by shotgun
5. John Brown (1859)
Drowned trying to cross a flooded river
Hanged
Shot during Harper's Ferry raid
6. James Dean (1955)
Automobile crash
Cocaine / heroin speedball
Prop gun malfunction
7. Jesse James (1882)
Hit by train
Shot from behind
Dysentery during Spanish-American War
8. Harry Houdini (1926)
Appendicitis / punch to stomach
Failed to escape from chains and drowned on stage
Food poisoning from shellfish
9. John Denver (1997)
Late night surfing
Mountain climbing accident
Plane crash
10. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg (1953)
Electric chair
Sinking of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald
Suicide by breathing automobile exhaust
11. Arthur Ashe (1993)
Complications from AIDS
Skydiving
Stabbed by a crazed fan
12. Kobe Bryant (2020)
Allergic reaction to peanuts
Helicopter crash
Sudden collapse due to undiagnosed heart defect
13. Sonny Bono (1998)
Hit tree while skiing
Hotel fire
Tour bus plunged into a ravine in Peru
14. Sharon Tate (1969)
Drowned in Steve McQueen's pool
Murdered by the Manson family
Died giving birth to Hilary Swank
15. Robert F. Kennedy (1968)
Assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan
Drove car off bridge on Chappaquiddick Island
Trapped in coal mine accident
34 Comments
+3
Level 59
Mar 8, 2023
How is John Brown least known?
+18
Level 81
Mar 8, 2023
I’d guess that anybody who knows him associates him with Harper’s Ferry and thus assumes that’s the answer.
+1
Level 59
Mar 14, 2023
I'd've thought many people who learned of his raid would also know the aftermath, but perhaps not.
+4
Level 85
Mar 8, 2023
The song doesn't tell us how he died; only that his "body lies a-mouldering in the grave..."
+2
Level 72
Mar 13, 2023
And so weep the sons of bondage whom he ventured out to save.
+9
Level 78
Mar 8, 2023
Never heard of John Brown, or at least the name doesn’t ring a bell. Not American, though.
+8
Level 68
Mar 9, 2023
I've never heard of him and in fairness he does have a boring name
+1
Level 40
Mar 14, 2023
In fairness you do not have a boring name. But dont need to insult an icon of freedom.
+4
Level 76
Mar 15, 2023
It is in fact a pretty common (and therefore one could argue "boring") name, and pointing it out is not insulting him. Relax and untwist your so easily offended nationalistic panties.
+2
Level 78
Jun 23, 2023
You had every opportunity to say something about his panties being "pretty tied up"... but you missed it. :(
+3
Level 61
Mar 13, 2023
Great American. Spoke out against chattel slavery and attempted an uprising to free enslaved Americans. Was sentenced to death but stood by his beliefs until the end.
+1
Level 59
Mar 14, 2023
He also fought in Bleeding Kansas.
+5
Level 70
Mar 11, 2023
Wild guess: some people don't know who he is

Interesting to know: John Wilkes Booth attended his execution

+1
Level 66
Mar 13, 2023
John Wilkes Booth also jumped 15 feet down to pronouce Sic semper tyrannis. A magical man.
+2
Level 66
Mar 13, 2023
Perhaps because the others are famous, and he wasn't. Never heard of him. Although to be fair, if Bryant had not died in a sensational accident I would never have heard of him either.
+2
Level 66
Mar 14, 2023
It just might be that his death is over 160 years in the past and one of only 3 listed in this quiz that pre-date WWI.
+5
Level 89
Mar 8, 2023
I like to think Michael Jackson fell off that balcony.
+1
Level 87
Mar 8, 2023
Washington's precise cause of death is debated. He had a massive throat infection, and lots of bloodletting was done to "help." From Wikipedia: Accusations have persisted since Washington's death concerning medical malpractice with some believing he had been bled to death from his bloodletting treatments.[385] Various modern medical authors have speculated that he died from a severe case of epiglottitis complicated by the treatments, most notably the massive blood loss that almost certainly caused hypovolemic shock.[396][s]. It would probably be best to at least mention the infection.
+4
Level 85
Mar 8, 2023
Some of the incorrect answers had me cracking up.
+5
Level 70
Mar 13, 2023
"Houdini died of AIDS" Pam Poovey.
+1
Level 44
Mar 13, 2023
i played this before it was featured, nice to see it featured!
+3
Level 74
Mar 13, 2023
14/15, I didn't know how Hemingway died. Thanks for the quiz!
+1
Level 68
Mar 14, 2023
same
+1
Level 56
Mar 13, 2023
Rubbish at that.

It doesn't help not knowing who a lot of them are. I thought John Brown was a former wide receiver, but didn't know that he or kobe brian was dead and assumed that Sharon Tate was somebody off Emmerdale Farm.

etc.

+1
Level 66
Mar 15, 2023
John Brown fought at the start of the Civil War - even if you don't know how he died, it's a pretty safe bet that he is, indeed, dead by now.
+2
Level 53
Mar 13, 2023
i only got sonny bono because of an eminem lyric:

"I get too blunted off of funny home grown, 'cause when I smoke out I hit the trees harder than Sonny Bono"

+2
Level 65
Mar 13, 2023
He was married to a Chair
+1
Level 67
Mar 14, 2023
Funny, I got Sharon Tate because of an Eminem lyric lol, "You 'bouta meet a scary fate and come home to find yourself staring straight into a f***n' barrel like Sharon Tate"
+1
Level 62
Mar 13, 2023
"Shooting Jesse James doesn't make you Jesse James"
+1
Level 68
Mar 13, 2023
I'd say this is an age thing. We used to sing 'John Brown's Body' in the school playground (in London) in the 60s though I'm not sure we knew why.

Slightly alarming that, for a Brit, I got my first 5/5 today on dead Americans!

+1
Level 68
Mar 14, 2023
Just missed Hemingway
+1
Level 49
Apr 24, 2023
Tragically ironic that the artist behind "Leaving on a jet plane" died in plane crash.
+1
Level 46
Sep 7, 2023
Look, it's hardly conspiratorial to believe that the circumstances surrounding RFK's assassination are a little muddy to say the least. Just because Sirhan Sirhan was convicted does not equate to historical fact.
+1
Level 68
Sep 13, 2023
This isn't a conspiracy theory quiz.