E.T.'s biography notes that Gracie hadn't really recovered from the trauma brought on by that night. I do know that he was sick before, and have even heard what was wrong with him, but cannot remember. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe he had some type of heart or lung problem. I suppose the trauma of that night combined with a heart problem would bring you down pretty fast.
Mr. Gracie's primary cause of death was diabetes and he spent his final days in a diabetic coma. Apparently he was never well after the Titanic experience and although it would be quite a stretch to claim that that "caused" diabetes, the stress of the whole thing may have served to exacerbate other infirmities. In a legal document I obtained concerning his wife,Constance--and this document was filed many years after her husband died--there is a notation stating "husband died Dec. 4th, 1913 (sic) in New York City after being wrecked in SS Titanic disaster." There was probably an element on her part of "wanting" to associate her husband's death with the tragedy as well. After all, death associated with Titanic would be much more dramatic/heroic than stating something like "my husband succumbed to diabetes at the age of 63."
I've always assumed that Gracie's enthusiasm for exercise stemmed from his diabetes. He was probably trying to control it with diet and exercise, which I believe is what a man of his age would be advised to do today, assuming it was late onset diabetes.
I read from a credible source (i forget who, just that they were credible) that he acquire a bad case of pneumonia during his long stay on collapsible B. That couple with his diabetes was too much for him to overcome.
Yes Dave, the pneumonia angle is the one I read about somewhere too-will try to dig out the source. There is a wonderful larger than life statue of Gracie extolling his heroism -languishing in the warehouse in Suitland Maryland- the repository for surplus Smithsonian stuff. The sculptress was Maj Gen. Sparrow's mother-in 1984 they were willing to release it if I could find a suitable and secure facility. Tried Gracie mansion but no dice. Any ideas?
I'm pretty sure it wasn't on Gracie's E.T. biography. I was reading it yesterday morning looking for my answer to this post, but had to go on guesswork because I couldn't find anything. Of course, I could have overlooked it.