August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009
Buried in: Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Los Angeles, CA
The King of Pop had over 1.5 million people vying for the 17,500 lottery tickets to allow access to his memorial service. If you weren’t lucky enough to get one of those tickets, you could buy them online for $10,000. It is estimated that Mr. Jackson’s burial outfit is worth about $35k, which is just slightly less than an average American’s annual income.
George Herman Jr., AKA Babe Ruth
February 6, 1895 – August 16, 1948
He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936, having played for the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Boston Braves from 1914 until 1935. A two time all star and 7 time World Series winner, he died of throat cancer in 1948. Over 75,000 people came to visit his casket at Yankee Stadium and another 75,000 waited outside of his funeral mass.
January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977
Buried in: Graceland, Memphis, TN
Over 25,000 fans gathered to pay their respects, although respect may not be the right word as two of the attendees exploited the funeral and cashed in on their connection. One selling an image to the National Enquirer and the other a story. A third may be looking to capitalize as well by selling the empty vault at Elvis’s original resting place, Forest Hill, for over a million dollars. maybe they were just trying to save up enough money to have their own 900 pound copper coffin.
June 10, 1922 – June 22, 1969
Buried in: Ferncliff Cemetery, NY
The funeral was closed to both the public and the press, but 20,000 people came to pay their respects for the woman most known for her part in the Wizard of Oz. Whether her overdose was accidental or not, she was loved by many who felt her death at age 47 was premature.
July 1961 – 31 August 1997
Buried in: Chapel Royal, St. James’s Palace
Likely the most viewed funeral service of all time was Princess Diana with an estimated 2.5 billion television watchers and another two thousand at the funeral. The country was devastated by her untimely and confusing death which spurred a conspiracy theory.
“The sudden and unexpected death of an extraordinarily popular royal figure brought statements from senior figures worldwide and many tributes by members of the public. People left public offerings of flowers, candles, cards and personal messages outside Kensington Palace for many months.”
- 1162 – August 18, 1227
Buried in: If you knew, you would be dead.
Violent in both life and in death, his burial procession walked about 4000 miles killing on-viewers along the way to protect the location of his burial plot. About 2000 servants were killed to serve him in the afterlife as well as about 40 horses. To this day, no one knows where his grave is, although archeologists keep looking. Maybe they should just follow the trail of blood.
Pope John Paul II
18 May 1920 – 2 April 2005
Buried in: St. Peter’s Basilica
An estimated 11.9 million dollars was spent on this Pope, the second-longest serving pope in history. His funeral service boasted attendees including prime ministers, 70 presidents, four kings and 5 queens as well as several religious leaders and 4 million mourners.
Famous funerals cause us to look at what we would want in our end of life wishes. Truly, how we choose to express ourselves in our funerals is a representation of the life we have lead and the things that are most important to us, whether our clothes, our name or our legacy.