Isidor Straus (1845 - 1912) MP

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Isidor Straus's Geni Profile

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Birthplace: Otterberg, Rhenish Bavaria, Germany
Death: Died in Titanic, in North Atlantic Ocean
Occupation: Co-owner of R.H. Macy's, buisniness man
Managed by: Kinard Ely Haden
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Isidor Straus

Isidor Straus (February 6, 1845 – April 15, 1912)—a German Jewish American—was co-owner of the Macy's department store with his brother Nathan. He also served briefly as a member of the United States House of Representatives.. He died with his wife, Ida, as a result of the sinking of the passenger ship RMS Titanic.

Early life

Isidor Straus was born in Otterberg county of Kaiserslautern, Germany. He was the first of five children of Lazarus Straus (1809–1898) and his second wife Sara (1823–1876). His siblings were Hermine (1846–1922), Nathan (1848–1931), Jakob Otto (1849–1851) and Oscar Solomon Straus (1850–1926). In 1854, he and his family immigrated to the United States and settled in Talbotton, Georgia where they opened a general store.

At the outbreak of the American Civil War Isidor volunteered for the Confederate States Army but his solicitude was refused as he was only 16 years old at the time.. He spent the rest of the war working as a clerk in the store in substitution of an employee that had joined the army, and later served as representative of the family business in England.

Following the end of the war the Straus family moved to New York City, where Isidor and his brother Nathan set up their family crockery and glassware business in the R. H. Macy and Company department store.

Later life

In 1871, Isidor Straus married Rosalie Ida Blun (1849–1912). They were parents to seven children (one of whom died in infancy):

Jesse Isidor Straus (1872–1936) who married Irma Nathan (1877–1970)

Clarence Elias Straus (1874–1876) who died in infancy

Percy Selden Straus (1876–1944) who married Edith Abraham (1882–1957)

Sara Straus (1878–1960) who married Dr. Alfred Fabian Hess (1875–1933)

Minnie Straus (1880–1940) who married Richard Weil (1876–1918)

Herbert Nathan Straus (1881–1933) who married Therese Kuhn (1884–1977)

Vivian Straus (1886–1974) first married Herbert Adolph Scheftel (1875–1914) and second, in 1917, married George A. Dixon, Jr. (1891–1956)

The couple were inseparable, writing to each other every day when they were apart. He served as a U.S. Congressman from January 30, 1894, to March 3, 1895, as a Democrat. By 1896, the Straus brothers had gained full ownership of R. H. Macy & Co.

Death on the Titanic

The gravesite of Isidor Straus in Woodlawn Cemetery

Traveling from Germany back to the United States, Isidor and his wife were passengers of the RMS Titanic when, on April 14, 1912, it hit an iceberg. Ida reportedly would not leave Isidor and refused to get in a lifeboat. The officer filling up the boat told Isidor that he could get into the boat with his wife, but he refused to before other men and instead sent his wife's maid, Ellen Bird, into the boat. Ida refused to board the half-full boat, saying "I will not be separated from my husband. As we have lived, so will we die together". Isidor and Ida both died on April 15 when the ship sank. Isidor Straus's body was recovered by the cable ship Mackay-Bennett, brought to Halifax, Nova Scotia where it was identified before being shipped to New York. He was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. Ida's body was not recovered.

The couple are portrayed in the 1958 film A Night to Remember, in scenes that are faithful to the accounts just cited. In the 1997 film Titanic, the Strauses are briefly depicted comforting each other as their stateroom floods with water, along with a deleted scene showing Isidor (played by Lew Palter) attempting to persuade Ida (Elsa Raven) to enter the lifeboat.

Memorials

Isidor and Ida Straus Memorial, Upper West Side, Manhattan

The remains of Isidor Straus were recovered by the Mackay-Bennett and interred at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. His gravestone also serves as a cenotaph for his wife. There are four memorials to Isidor and Ida Straus in their adopted home of New York City:

A memorial plaque can be seen on the main floor of Macy's Department Store in Manhattan.

The Isidor and Ida Straus Memorial is located in Straus Park, at the intersection of Broadway and West End Avenue at W. 106th Street (Duke Ellington Boulevard) in Manhattan. The park is one block from 105th St. and West End Avenue, where they resided (now the site of the Cleburne Building). An inscription reads, "Lovely and pleasant they were in their lives, and in death they were not divided." (2 Samuel 1:23)

New York City Public School P.S. 198, built in Manhattan in 1959, is named in memory of Isidor and Ida Straus. The building shares space with another school, P.S. 77.

Straus Hall, one of Harvard's freshman residence halls in Harvard Yard, was given in honor of the Strauses by their three sons.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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http://www.straushistoricalsociety.org/lazarus-and-sara-straus.html

Isidor's privately published autobiography gives us a glimpse into their lives in Talbotton and later in Columbus GA where they moved in 1863. The Strauses became successful merchants. At the close of the Civil War, Columbus was burned and Lazarus decided to move his family north. They settled in New York, opening L. Straus & Sons, importers of china, porcelain, glassware and crockery. In 1873 Nathan convinced Rowland H. Macy to allow them to open a concession in the basement of Macy's store on 14th Street. By 1884 the Strauses were part owners and by 1896 they were sole owners of R. H. Macy's & Co.

Isidor continued to run Macy's until his death, along with that of his wife Ida, on the "Titanic" in 1912. He served in the House of Representatives in 1894-5 and was a founder of The Educational Alliance in New York City. He belonged to many philanthropic organizations and was active in city politics.

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Isidor Straus's Timeline

1845
February 6, 1845
Otterberg, Rhenish Bavaria, Germany
1871
July 12, 1871
Age 26
New York, New York
1872
June 25, 1872
Age 27
New York, New York
1874
August 27, 1874
Age 29
New York, New York
1876
1876
Age 30
New York, New York
1880
February 19, 1880
Age 35
New York, New York
1881
November 2, 1881
Age 36
New York, New York
1886
August 29, 1886
Age 41
New York, New York
1912
April 15, 1912
Age 67
Titanic, in North Atlantic Ocean