Encyclopedia Titanica

Tell Them No Woman Died Because I Was Coward ---Guggenheim

Washington Times

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NEW YORK, April 20---"This is a man's game and I will play it to the end," was the word that Benjamin Guggenheim, the millionaire smelter magnate, sent to his wife from the ill-fated Titanic. The message was delivered to the stricken widow by John Johnson, the room steward to whom it was given. Guggenheim, Johnson said, realized from the beginning that there was no chance of escaping. He sent for Johnson, who he knew was an expert swimmer, and for his secretary and asked them, if they should be saved, to get word to Mrs. Guggenheim.

"Tell her, Johnson," the steward related, "that I played the game straight to the end and that no woman was left on board this ship because Ben Guggenheim was a coward. Tell her that my last thoughts will be of her and our girls."

Guggenheim then, according to Johnson, lit a cigar and sauntered up to the boat deck and was engulfed with the ship.

[Note: There seems to have been no steward by the name of "John Johnson" on Titanic.]

Related Biographies

Benjamin Guggenheim


Mark Baber, USA

Comment and discuss

  1. David Chase said:

    Interesting........John Johnson is my Great Grand Father. He worked for White Star Lines but as a Quarter Master. I suspect he was a stowaway on board the Titanic to get a free ride to the USA and blended in as a Steward.

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Encyclopedia Titanica (2004) Tell Them No Woman Died Because I Was Coward ---Guggenheim (Washington Times, Saturday 20th April 1912, ref: #4085, published 29 October 2004, generated 23rd October 2021 02:44:53 AM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/tell-them-no-woman-died-because-i-was-coward-guggenheim.html