Profile of the Day: Isidor Straus
Perhaps one of the most famous passenger stories from the Titanic is that of Isidor and Ida Straus. Isidor Straus was a former U.S. Congressman and the co-owner of Macy’s department store with his brother Nathan. He and his wife Ida were traveling back to the U.S. from Germany on board the RMS Titanic. Their infant grandson, Stuart Scheftel, had caught a cold and had been left behind in England with his nurse.
After the Titanic struck the iceberg, the crew began loading women and children into the lifeboats. Although the officer in charge of lifeboat #8 was willing to allow the couple to board, Isidor declined, refusing to board before all the women and children were off the ship. Despite Isidor’s urging, Ida refused to go without her husband. She reportedly said to him, “We have lived together for many years. Where you go, I go.”
Witnesses reported that they saw the couple sitting together in deck chairs before a wave washed over them. Isidor’s body was recovered and buried in New York. His wife’s body was never found.
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