Home Wife of CEO lost on submersible is descendant of couple who died on Titanic
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Wife of CEO lost on submersible is descendant of couple who died on Titanic

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(© the Ocean Agency – stock.adobe.com)

In a twist of irony, the wife of the company CEO lost on the Titan submersible in the Atlantic Ocean is the descendant of a couple who died on the Titanic in 1912.

The New York Times reports that Stockton Rush, CEO of the company leading the expedition to explore the wreck of the Titanic, is married to Wendy Rush, a great-great-granddaughter of Isidor and Ida Straus.

Isidor Straus was the co-owner of Macy’s department store in New York City with his brother, Nathan Straus. Isidor was 67 years old and Ida was 63 years old when the Titanic sank. They are immortalized in James Cameron’s 1997 film “Titanic.” During the montage of the song “Nearer My God to Thee,” an elderly couple is seen holding each other in bed prepared to go down with the ship. Ida Straus refused to leave her husband behind.

The couple had spent the winter in Europe and were traveling aboard the Titanic back to New York. Both had immigrated with their families to the U.S. from Germany. They had visited Germany while in Europe.

In 1894-1895, Isidor Straus served as a congressman for New York’s District 15. President Grover Cleveland offered him the position of postmaster general, but Straus declined. The Strauses married in 1871 and had seven children, one of whom died in infancy. Wendy Rush is their descendant from one of the Straus’s daughters on her father’s side of the family.

Isidor Straus’s body was recovered with others after the sinking, but Ida’s body was never found. Many statues depict the couple in New York City, and a park is named Straus Park.

The Rushes married in 1986. She is director of communications at OceanGate and an expedition team member.

Lost on the Titan Sunday were Stockton Rush, a British adventurer, two members of a Pakistani business family and Paul-Henry Nargeolet, a French explorer and Titanic expert.

Within an hour and 45 minutes of launching Sunday morning, the Titan lost communication with its mothership. The Titanic lies on the Atlantic Ocean floor 12,500 feet below the surface. Nobody knows how close the Titan got to the Titanic before losing communication.

The Titan, an OceanGate Expeditions sub, was expected to be out of air for its passengers as of this morning.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.

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