Mrs Irene (Rene) Harris (Irene Wallach), 36, was born 15 July 1876 in Washington, D. C., to Philip Wallach (born ca. 1831 in Prussia, d. before 1900, possibly 1895), who had worked at a loan office and Rachel Edith Hilzheim (born 28 July 1842 in Ohio; d. 21 September 1929 in New York City). Her parents had married 20 August 1862 in the District of Columbia, USA.
There were nine children born to the family. Her known brothers and sisters were Seligman ’Sol’ Colfax, b. 22 May 1863 (d. 1953), Goldina, b. 1864, Eugenia ’Jennie,’ b. June 1867, (Emily) Maud, b. 8 September 1871 (d. 1944 in New York City as Mrs. Samuel Jerome King), Samuel H., b. 4 November 1872 (d. 31 August 1935 in New York City),, Edna Iola, b. 10 January 1874 (d. 1963 in New York), Herbert Philip, b. 25 September 1883 (d. 25 May 1952 in Florida), and Edgar Smith, b. 4 June 1884 (d. 10 September 1953 in New York City).
She had married Henry Burkhardt Harris on 22 October 1899 in Manhattan, New York.
The couple boarded the Titanic at Southampton, they occupied cabin C-83 (ticket number 36973).
On April 14, 1912, Mrs. Harris fell down a stairway aboard the Titanic and broke her elbow. Later that evening, the Harrises were playing Double Canfield in their outside stateroom. Mrs. Harris noticed that "my clothes, which had been swinging on their hangers a moment before, suddenly stopped swinging.
"We didn't feel the impact with the fatal iceberg," she said later.
Mrs Harris was rescued in Collapsible D. When she boarded the Carpathia she was accommodated in a cabin vacated by the artist Colin Campbell Cooper and his wife Emma. Mr Campbell would later record the rescue in two paintings.
Mrs Harris discovered after her husband's death that he was broke. After paying off his debts as best she could she attempted to continue his theatrical business. For a time she was successful but by the 1930s was living in comparative poverty. She remarried three times but remained Rene Harris. She died on 2 September 1969.