was a 20-year-old artist from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Orphaned at the age of 15, he worked a variety of jobs. After a stint as a logger, he came to Santa Monica, California, where he drew portraits on the pier for 10 cents apiece. Working his way from place to place on tramp steamers and similar accommodations, he went to Paris where he studied art. Subsequently, he found himself able to return to his native land in the grandest style possible for one with no money: sailing on Titanic on a ticket he won in a poker game.
Rose DeWitt Bukater
born to one of the very best families in Philadelphia, was a mere 17 years old when she became engaged to Caledon Hockley. Intelligent, poised, and beautiful, Rose had been schooled since childhood to be everything a young woman of society was expected to be. Rose's betrothal to Hockley, heir to a Pittsburgh steel fortune, was considered an admirable catch, a perfect pairing of wealth and social position. Yet her spirit rebelled against the rigid confines and expectations of Edwardian society controlling her destiny.
was the 30-year-old scion of a wealthy Pittsburgh steel family. Handsome, self-confident, rich beyond meaning, he aspired to sophistication and insisted on propriety. He found in Rose DeWitt Bukater a suitable young woman to fill the role of wife in his aristocratic future, and he presented her to his peers with the pride of ownership, basking in others' reaction to her beauty and her pedigree. As a wedding present for her, he purchased one of the largest and most valuable diamonds in the world, the legendary blue stone once worn by Louis XVI known as the Coeur de la Mer - the Heart of the Ocean.
Mrs. Margaret "Molly" Brown
was the wife of a Colorado mining millionaire. Intelligent though self-taught -- she spoke several languages -- she was a plain-spoken woman without background in high society, who was generally shunned by the socialites of Denver. When Titanic was sinking, she was evacuated in lifeboat #6, under the command of Quartermaster Hichens. Having been at the wheel of Titanic when she struck the iceberg, Hichens was completely unnerved and directed the boat away from the sinking ship as fast as possible. He was terrified that they would be swamped by the suction as the ship went down, or overwhelmed by swimmers desperate to be saved. Mrs. Brown and several more women wanted to return to help save others, but they were overruled by Hichens' bullying and by the frightened silence of the majority of the lifeboat's passengers. As Hichens' fears became less and less rational, Mrs. Brown effectively took over command of the boat and persuaded the women to help with the rowing. Her heroism and selflessness during the disaster was much talked about afterwards and earned her the moniker "The Unsinkable Molly Brown."
Ruth DeWitt Bukater
mother of Rose, was a society empress from one of the most socially prominent families in Philadelphia. After the death of her husband, her family fell on hard times, but she was determined to achieve financial salvation through her daughter's marriage to Caledon Hockley. A woman who ruled her household with an iron will, she was intolerant of Rose's rebellious nature, and found in Cal an ally in her efforts to control Rose.
Captain Edward J. Smith
joined White Star Line in 1880 and remained with the company for the rest of his life. Popular with his crews as well as his passengers, Smith was widely regarded as a charming, personable officer. He became the captain of choice for many of the rich and powerful in the transatlantic set, earning the nickname "the millionaire's captain." Through most of his long career, he had never been involved, as he recounted in 1907, "in an accident of any sort worth speaking about. I never saw a wreck and have never been wrecked, nor was I ever in any predicament that threatened to end in disaster of any sort." White Star had made it virtually a tradition to have Smith in command on the maiden voyages of its important ships. At the conclusion of Titanic's maiden voyage, Captain Smith was scheduled to retire in glory.
J. Bruce Ismay
the 50-year-old Managing Director of White Star Line, was one of the most powerful men in the shipping industry. Son of Thomas H. Ismay, who founded the line in 1869, Joseph Bruce Ismay had ascended to the management of the company with his brothers by the turn of the century. In 1902, the American financier J. Pierpont Morgan, who was buying shipping companies for his enormous International Mercantile Marine (IMM) trust, negotiated the purchase of White Star Line. J. Bruce Ismay alone of his family remained with the company. In 1907, in response to the competition posed by rival Cunard Line's new mammoth liners Lusitania and Mauretania, Ismay conceived of a trio of even larger, grander and more luxuriant ships that would re-assert White Star's dominance of the lucrative and prestigious transatlantic trade. Titanic was the second of this trio. Ismay sailed on her maiden voyage, confident that Titanic represented the triumph of his career.
was valet and bodyguard to Caledon Hockley. An ex-Pinkerton with a background in railroad security, his job was to keep Cal out of trouble and protect the family name. In the course of his duties, he was ready to use whatever means necessary, including the threat of physical force, to prevent anyone from interfering with his employer.
then aged 39, was the Managing Director of Harland & Wolff Shipyards, nephew of Lord Pirrie (Harland & Wolff's chairman), and one of Titanic's main designers. A tireless workaholic, he had supervised every detail of the ship's construction and outfitting, and was the world's foremost expert on every aspect of her. He sailed on Titanic with a hand-picked team of seven experts, the Harland & Wolff "guarantee group," who spent most of the voyage trouble-shooting last-minute problems and perfecting the finishing of this, the company's greatest creation. Andrews himself brought along Titanic's complete blue-prints, and worked practically non-stop on the voyage, carrying a notebook everywhere, making notes about imperfections and ideas for improvements. He was, for instance, concerned that the coat-hooks were attached to the walls with an unsightly number of screws, which he intended to change.
Fabrizio De Rossi
was a young Italian, about 20, with dreams of finding success and happiness in America. A good friend of Jack Dawson's, he was playing poker in a Southampton pub on the morning of April 10, 1912, with Jack and two brothers from Sweden. At 11:55 AM, Jack won the last hand, cleaning out the Swedes of everything including two third class tickets to New York on Titanic... which was casting off in precisely 5 minutes He and Jack considered themselves the luckiest men in the world.