Seven Famous People Who Missed the Titanic

The notables who planned to sail on the fateful voyage included a world-famous novelist, a radio pioneer and America’s biggest tycoons

(AP Photo/The Hershey Library via the Patriot-News.)

J. Pierpont Morgan

J. Pierpont Morgan
(Library of Congress)

The legendary 74-year-old financier, nicknamed the “Napoleon of Wall Street,” had helped create General Electric and U.S. Steel and was credited with almost singlehandedly saving the U.S. banking system during the Panic of 1907.

Among his varied business interests was the International Mercantile Marine, the shipping combine that controlled Britain’s White Star Line, owner of the Titanic. Morgan attended the ship’s launching in 1911 and had a personal suite on board with his own private promenade deck and a bath equipped with specially designed cigar holders. He was reportedly booked on the maiden voyage but instead remained at the French resort of Aix to enjoy his morning massages and sulfur baths.

“Monetary losses amount to nothing in life,” he told a visiting New York Times reporter days after the sinking. “It is the loss of life that counts. It is that frightful death.”

About Greg Daugherty
Greg Daugherty

Greg Daugherty is a magazine editor and writer as well as a frequent contributor to Smithsonian.com. His books include You Can Write for Magazines.

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