Jacques Heath Futrelle

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Jacques Heath Futrelle

Birthplace: Pike County, Georgia
Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of Wiley Harmon Heath Futrelle and Linnie Futrelle
Husband of Lily May Futrelle
Father of Virginia Raymond and John Futrelle, Jr.
Brother of Mrs Charles Copeland

Occupation: Writer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Jacques Heath Futrelle


  • Name: Mr Jacques Heath Futrelle
  • Born: Friday 9th April 1875
  • Age: 37 years
  • Last Residence: in London London England
  • Occupation: Writer
  • 1st Class passenger
  • First Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
  • Ticket No. 113803 , £53 2s
  • Cabin No.: C123 ?
  • Died in the sinking.
  • Body Not Recovered

Mr Jacques Heath Futrelle, 37, was born 9 April 1875 in Pike County, Georgia, the son of Wiley Harmon Heath Futrelle (a descendant of the French Huguenots) and Linnie (Bevill) Futrelle He attended public schools in Pike County but was also schooled by his father (a teacher in an Atlanta College) in basic academics and French.

Futrelle began his career at the age of 18 when he took a job with the Atlanta Journal. The following year he went to work for the Boston Post but would soon after return to the Journal. Here he set up the magazine's first sports department.

He married Lily May Peel on 17 July 1895 in her parent's home. They would later have two children, John and Virginia.

Jacque's moved to the New York Herald. Soon after this, he began writing detective stories. In 1902, Jacques accepted the position of manager of a small repertory theater in Richmond, Virginia, where he wrote and acted in several plays. After a two year stint with the theater, he then took a job on the editorial staff of the Boston American. Around this period he began a series of stories around 'The Thinking Machine' - a detective character he created who would eventually appear in over forty stories - and had several of his stories printed in the "American". It has been suggested that his detective was an inspiration for Agatha Christie. Not being the only one in the family with a flair for writing, his wife, May, also authored several novels and magazine articles.

Jacques became a well known and respected novelist by the early 20th century - his best known works being: "The Thinking Machine", "The Thinking Machine On The Case", "The Diamond Master" and "The High Hand". Around this time he bought a house in Scituate, razed it and built a 'Cape Cod' for his wife and family.

In 1912 the couple travelled in Europe for several weeks while Jacques wrote a number of magazine articles. On the night before sailing, friends had gathered in London to celebrate Mr Futrelle's 37th birthday. The party did not end until 3:00 A.M. and the Futrelle's never went to bed but packed and headed for Southampton. Mrs Futrelle was later to lament that "if my husband had got drunk that night, he might not have sailed, and he might be alive today. But he never did drink much."

Travelling as first class passengergers they were possibly accomodated in cabin C-123 (ticket number 113803, £53, 2s)

After the collision with the iceberg, Jacques got his wife into lifeboat (Collapsible) D. May pleaded with him to get in the boat but he resisted, saying he would come later on in another lifeboat. May remembered the last she saw of him, he was smoking a cigarette with John J. Astor. Jacque's last work, "My Lady's Garter", was published posthumously later in 1912. May inscribed in the book, "To the heroes of the Titanic, I dedicate this my husband's book" under a photo of her late husband.

Travelling Companions (on same ticket)

  • Mrs Lily May Futrelle


  • Luis Velez
  • Eric-Jan Noomen
  • George Behe, USA
  • Phillip Gowan, USA
view all

Jacques Heath Futrelle's Timeline

April 9, 1875
Pike County, Georgia
July 17, 1895
Age 20
November 8, 1896
Age 21
November 20, 1898
Age 23
April 15, 1912
Age 37