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Benjamin Guggenheim

From Academic Kids

Benjamin Guggenheim (October 26, 1865 - April 15, 1912) was an American businessman.

Guggenheim was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the fifth of the seven sons of the colossally wealthy mining magnate Meyer Guggenheim (1828-1905).

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- Benjamin Guggenheim -

In 1894 he married Floretta Seligman, daughter of a prominent New York City banker with whom he had three daughters: 1) Benita, 2) Peggy, and 3) Hazel.

While Guggenheim inherited a great deal of money from his father, he did not inherit his father's business acumen and Benjamin Guggenheim's inheritance dwindled considerably from a number of poor investments. He grew distant from his wife and ostensibly for business reasons, was frequently away from their New York City home. He maintained an apartment in Paris, France and was returning home from there when he boarded the RMS Titanic at Cherbourg, Manche, France, on Wednesday, April 10, 1912, accompanied by his mistress, a French singer named Léontine Aubart (1887-1964). His ticket number was 17593, which cost £79 4s. Other sources give the price as £56 18s 7d. He was located in Cabin No. B82.


After the luxury liner collided with an iceberg and began to sink, word came that there were only half the number of lifeboats needed for all passengers. Bedroom Steward Henry Samuel Etches helped Mr Guggenheim to fit his lifebelt. Ignoring his protestations; "This will hurt", Etches finally managed to get the mining and smelting tycoon into the lifebelt, he then made him put on a thick sweater and sent him up to the Boat Deck. Faced with certain death, after ensuring Ms. Aubart and her maid, Ms. Emma Sägesser, were safely in a lifeboat, Guggenheim and his valet returned their lifebelts to a steward and returned to their suites to change into formal evening wear.

Guggenheim is famous for these comments made while the liner was about to go down: "We've dressed in our best, and are prepared to go down like gentlemen." He later said to a steward: "Tell my wife I did my best in doing my duty."

Dressed in formal evening attire, at approximately two o'clock in the morning of April 15, 1912, Guggenheim and his valet sat in chairs on the deck, sipping brandy and smoking cigars while the Titanic sank. He was 46 years old. His body was never recovered.de:Benjamin Guggenheim fr:Benjamin Guggenheim

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