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Where there’s life, there’s death. Though a true statement, for some it seems that life and legacy continue on long after death. Many artists, poets, writers, and others have been able to continue to live on through their stories, theories, art, and ideas. Though not immortal, the works of certain people allow them to continue to be an important part of the world, despite no longer living.
The list below describes ten people, who after death, became famous and made a profound impact on society.
After arriving back home, Van Gogh told his brother Theo that he had shot himself. Yet the bullet’s trajectory was “at a crazy angle,” the authors added, and the gun was held “at a distance from the body” that might have been farther than Van Gogh could have held the gun. In addition, historical accounts suggest that two teenage boys teased and tormented Van Gogh during the final years of his life, they said, and it’s possible that the boys shot him.
Robert Leroy Johnson (May 8, 1911 – August 16, 1938) was an American blues singer and musician. His landmark recordings from 1936–37 display a combination of singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent that has influenced later generations of musicians. Johnson's shadowy, poorly documented life and death at age 27 have given rise to much legend, including the Faustian myth that he sold his soul at a crossroads to achieve success. As an itinerant performer who played mostly on street corners, in juke joints, and at Saturday night dances, Johnson enjoyed little commercial success or public recognition in his lifetime. His records sold poorly during his lifetime, and it was only after the first reissue of his recordings on LP in 1961 that his work reached a wider audience. Johnson is now recognized as a master of the blues, particularly of the Mississippi Delta blues style. He is credited by many rock musicians as an important influence; Eric Clapton has called Johnson "the most important blues singer that ever lived." Johnson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an "Early Influence" in their first induction ceremony in 1986. In 2003, David Fricke ranked Johnson fifth in Rolling Stone's list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.