January 22, 1561 - 9 April 9, 1626: Age 65
The cat wasn't the only thing curiosity killed: it killed Francis Bacon, too. Through his essays and activities, the brilliant and popular polymath framed and promoted the scientific method — that is, an inductive method of scientific inquiry. In other words, he recommended that scientists actually test their theories, even when the outcome seemed obvious. It was revolutionary.
During a cold winter in 1626, while driving through London with a friend, he was suddenly seized by the idea that snow could be used to preserve meat. The two friends jumped out of the carriage, bought a chicken, and stood outside stuffing it with snow. In doing so, he got a terrible chill and fell ill so quickly with pneumonia that he stopped at the house of a friendly earl nearby to lie down. The earl happened to be in jail at the time for pissing off the king, but his servants welcomed Bacon and his companion and showed them to the guest room. In those days there was no central heating and if things got damp in the winter, they stayed damp; the bed he repaired to was both cold and damp. Within three days Bacon was dead.