Encyclopedia Titanica


New York Times

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Baby Boy and Brother Drop From Arms of Mother on Hotel Surrey Roof
Mrs. M. S. Waldman, Daughter of Benjamin Guggenheim, Unable to Explain Accident
Terrence and Benjamin Waldman, four and a half years old and fourteen months old respectively, the sons of Mr. and Mrs. Milton S. Waldman of New York and Paris, were killed at 2:45 o'clock yesterday afternoon in a fall from the roof of the Surrey, a sixteen-story apartment hotel at 20 East Seventy-sixth Street.

Their mother, who was with them, saw her children fall to the roof of a three-story building on Madison Avenue at Seventy-sixth Street. She made an ineffectual effort to save them and then was too dazed and horror stricken even to call for help.
First notice of the accident came from the street when some one ran in to notify the telephone operator that two children had fallen from the roof and ask that an ambulance be called.

Waited on Roof for Cousin

Mrs. Waldman, a daughter of Benjamin Guggenheim, who was drowned in the sinking of the Titanic, had gone to the Surrey to visit her cousin, Mrs. Cornelius Ruxton Love Jr., who occupies a penthouse bungalow. Mrs. Love had gone out but had left word for Mrs. Waldman to wait.

After receiving the message, Mrs. Waldman went to the roof with her two children. How the children happened to fall had not been established last night by the investigation of the police although there was no doubt that the fall had been accidental.

Mrs. Waldman required the attention of two physicians last night and was unable to tell a coherent story of what happened. Joseph Huler of 65-10 Woodside Avenue, Queens, a painter, was probably the only witness.

Surrounding the penthouse is a landscaped plot which contains garden furniture and a porch swing. This plot is surrounded by a picket fence. A gate opens to the rest of the roof and Mrs. Waldman with her children had apparently opened the gate and gone to the parapet.

Fails to Prevent Falls

Huler said that Mrs. Waldman was seated on a bench or on the low parapet with her back to the street. The younger boy was in her arms. Terence, jealous of his brother's favored spot in his mother's arms or anxious to see more of the view, was pushing and pulling, trying to climb into his mother's lap, Huler said. In the scramble one of the children went over the edge. Mrs. Waldman made an effort to catch him and the other child also fell.

Mrs. Love, a daughter of Rear Admiral Louis M. Josephthal, commander of the New York State Naval Militia, was not aware of what had happened as she pushed her way through the curious persons gazing up at the building from which the children had fallen. It was not until she entered that she learned the children were the sons of Mrs. Waldman. She went upstairs immediately to be with her cousin.

Mrs. Waldman is living at the Hotel Plaza, having returned from Europe a week ago. Her husband, Milton S. Waldman, a former newspaper man and writer, is still in Paris. They were married in 1923 and have spent much of their time abroad. Mr. Waldman's family live in Cleveland. Mrs. Waldman, formerly Barbara Hazel Guggenheim, was divorced in Paris from Sigmund Marshall Kempner in 1922.

Medical Examiner Raymond B. Miles, after an examination of the bodies, gave permission for their removel [sic] by an undertaker, satisfied that death was accidental. They were taken through a window in the linen room of the Surrey from the roof of the adjoining building.

Related Biographies

Benjamin Guggenheim


Mark Baber, USA

Comment and discuss

  1. Eileen James said:

    What a terrible and tragic death of two innocent children. It doesn't matter if you have all the money in the world, there is no price you can put on the precious lives of children. Gone too soon. In God's care forever two beautiful boys. Love and peace to you both xx

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Encyclopedia Titanica (2004) 2 GUGGENHEIM HEIRS DIE IN 13-STORY FALL (New York Times, Saturday 20th October 1928, ref: #3719, published 10 September 2004, generated 23rd October 2021 01:41:04 AM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/2-guggenheim-heirs-die-13-story-fall.html