Karl Marx’s Death

Karl Marx’s Tomb in London

Karl Marx died of bronchitis on the 14th of March, in London, at the age of 64.

After Marx’s wife died in 1881, he started suffering from an accumulation of phlegm in the nose and throat. This kept him very sick for the last year of his life. This thick phlegm eventually led to bronchitis and the swelling of the chest cavity that killed him. Marx’s habits may have played a role in the illnesses that he suffered. He smoked heavily, drank excessively, and ate very spicy foods. From a modern medical standpoint, most of his illnesses seem to be due to allergies. For more than ten years before he died, he was troubled by boils that covered the skin on his chest, neck, buttocks, and back. Because of these painful, pus-filled sores, he could not sit for long periods of time. Marx also suffered from liver derangement, eye irritation, hemorrhoids, and headaches. When he was nearing his final moments in his armchair, his housekeeper asked him if he had any final words that she could keep for posterity. Marx responded, “Go on, get out! Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough!”

Karl Marx was buried in Highgate Cemetery in London, in a section allotted for atheists and agnostics. Thirteen people attended his funeral, among them were his co-author of the Communist Manifesto, Friedrich Engels; and Eleanor Marx, Karl Marx’s youngest daughter.