Dr. Henry William Frauenthal

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Dr. Henry William Frauenthal

Birthplace: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Died in New York, NY, USA
Cause of death: Suicide, fractured skull from fall out of window.
Place of Burial: New York, NY, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Samuel Frauenthal and Henrietta Gertrude Frauenthal
Husband of Clara Frauenthal
Father of Natalie Frauenthal
Brother of Isaac Gerald Frauenthal

Managed by: Robert Howard Bruno
Last Updated:

About Dr. Henry William Frauenthal

Dr Henry William Frauenthal was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on 13 March 1863, the son of German immigrants Samuel Frauenthal (a merchant) and Henrietta Lowenstein. He had three brothers Isaac Gerald, Herman and Isidor, and two sisters, Rose and Carrie.

Frauenthal graduated from Lehigh University with a degree in analytical chemistry in 1888. It was while working as a chemist with the Rossie Iron Ore Company of Spragueville, New York that he studied medicine at Bellevue Hospital Medical College. He qualified as a doctor in 1890 and worked as partner to an orthopaedic surgeon for the next eleven years before entering private practice. Among his patients was actress Marie Dressler (Lee 1997)

Dr. Frauenthal's specific medical interest was the treatment of chronic joint diseases. In 1904, he established a clinic to practice new treatments for these ailments. His techniques proved so successful that the clinic expanded and in 1908 and another building was added. Frauenthal's medical prowess brought financial rewards and he was at the height of his career when, on 26 March 1912, he married Clara Heinsheimer in France, just over two weeks later they boarded the Titanic at Southampton as first class passengers for their return journey to the United States (Ticket No PC 17611, £133 13s). At Cherbourg they were joined by Henry's brother Isaac.

Dr Frauenthal, his wife and brother were rescued after leaping into lifeboat 5. A large man, he reportedly weighed 250 pounds, Henry landed on top of Annie May Stengel and broke several of her ribs.

After their fortuitous escape Frauenthal returned to his work at the hospital which continued to grow. In 1914 a new building was erected and more than 48,000 treatments were given during its first year of operation.

Having married late in life, Dr. Frauenthal and his wife had no children but they raised a foster-daughter, Natalie. Both Clara and her husband suffered from mental health problems in later years and in the early hours of 11 March 1927 Dr. Frauenthal committed suicide by jumping from the seventh floor of his hospital building.

He left the bulk of his fortune to the hospital and, in a bizarre footnote to his will, requested that his ashes be scattered from the roof of the hospital on the fiftieth anniversary of its incorporation.

Dr. Henry William Frauenthal

On March 11, 1927, Dr. Henry William Frauenthal jumped from the seventh-floor window of a hospital, killing himself. Here’s a brief bit of background: Frauenthal was a big guy, and when he jumped into a Titanic lifeboat, he broke the ribs of the woman passenger he landed on.

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Dr. Henry William Frauenthal's Timeline

March 14, 1862
Age 40
March 11, 1927
Age 64
New York, NY, USA
March 14, 1927
Age 64
New York, NY, USA