Profile of the Day: Margaret Brown

Posted July 18, 2023 by Amanda | No Comment

On this day in 1867, American socialite and philanthropist Margaret Brown was born. A survivor of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, Brown was dubbed “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” by historians for her legendary tales of heroism during the disaster.

Image: Margaret Brown / Library of Congress

She was born Margaret Tobin in Hannibal, Missouri in a two-room cottage to John Tobin and Johanna Collins. In 1886, she married James Joseph “J.J.” Brown, a self-educated entrepreneur and mining engineer. The family had little money until J.J.’s engineering efforts led to an influx of great wealth.

In 1912, Brown spent several months traveling Egypt with John Jacob Astor IV and his wife, who were on an extended honeymoon in Europe. After receiving word that her grandson was ill, she booked a trip back to the United States on the RMS Titanic. After the ship struck the iceberg, Brown was said to have helped others board the lifeboats before she left the ship on board Lifeboat No. 6. She was best remembered for urging the crew of Lifeboat No. 6 to return in order to search for survivors. After being rescued by the Carpathia, Brown helped raise money to aid the second and third class survivors.

Later in life, she used her fame as a well-known Titanic survivor to promote issues she felt strongly about, including women’s suffrage and workers’ rights.

Explore Margaret Brown’s family tree and help expand it to connect her to over 180 million profiles in Geni’s World Family Tree!

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