There is something romantic and poetic about a once-famous figure taking his last breath alone and impoverished in some forgotten place. The image makes for such a dramatic ending, such stories are often perpetuated even when they aren’t true. But some of the most talented writers, thinkers, scientists, and musicians, who were either celebrated in their day or have received their due decades after their death, really did die broke. Whether because of their own actions or circumstances beyond their control, here are 10 brilliant minds who went to the grave without a penny for the boatman.
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