Every now and then, an early death is a good career move.
But not always. Max Stirner (aka Johann Caspar Schmidt), author of the influential The Ego and Its Own (1845) came to his end as follows: while caring for his mad mother, and skipping from address to address to avoid creditors, he was stung in the neck by a winged insect. It was May 1856 and he was 49. He fell into a fever, went into remission and then keeled over on 25 June. No one noticed, not even his mother.