Encyclopedia Titanica

Leila Meyer

Leila Meyer
Leila Meyer

Mrs Edgar Joseph Meyer (Leila Saks) was born as Leila Saks in Baltimore, Maryland on 28 September 1886. She was the daughter of Andrew Saks (b. 1847) and Jennie Rohl (b. 1860).

Her father was born in Baltimore to German parents and initially worked as a tailor and clothier in Washington, DC before he and his brother Isidor founded Saks & Co, a men's clothing and dry goods house, he later becoming company president. He was married around 1879 to Jennie Rohl, native of Washington, DC and who was also of German parentage. The couple had three children: William Andrew (b. 1880), Horace Andrew (b. 1882) and Leila (b. 1886). By 1905 the family were residing in Manhattan.

Leila was married in 1909 to Edgar Joseph Meyer (b. 1884), a native of San Francisco, California and the son of a German father and an Anglo-German mother. The couple had one daughter, Jane (b. 19 May 1911, later Stern). Meyer was a mechanical engineer and an alumnus of Cornell University and his discovery of a method to measure the velocity of flame propagation in gasoline engines became a standard technique. After his graduation from college he joined his brother in business in Wall Street and became vice president of the Braden Copper Company of New York City.

Residents of Manhattan, Mr and Mrs Meyer boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg as first class passengers (ticket number PC 17604, which cost £82, 3s, 5d). Leila's father Andrew had died two days before sailing on 8 April 1912 following a protracted illness and the decision to travel on Titanic was a hastily arranged affair following notification of his death.

On the evening before the disaster fellow survivor Daisy Minahan recalled seeing Mrs Meyer among other first class passengers dining in the Café Parisien.

Mrs Meyer later recalled:

"I tried and tried to get Edgar to come into the lifeboat with me, and pleaded to be allowed to stay behind and wait until he could leave, he not caring to leave before all the women had been saved. Mr. Meyer finally persuaded me to leave, reminding me of our one-year-old child at home. I entered the lifeboat and watched until the Titanic sank, but only for a short time did I see my husband standing beside the rail and assisting other women into boats in which he might have been saved."

Leila was rescued in lifeboat 6 but her husband perished in the disaster. His body, if recovered, was never identified.

Following the disaster Leila returned to New York and was reunited with her daughter. She was later remarried, on 30 April 1914, to divorcee Louis Ranger (b. 12 December 1881 in New York), a stock broker, but would have no more children.

Leila Meyer Ranger
(Courtesy of June Iseman)

Leila continued to travel, visiting France, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK in later years. Ships she would travel aboard included: Mauretania, Ile De France, Aquitania and Queen of Bermuda. Her 1924 passport describes her as standing at 5' 3½" with an oval face, florid complexion, blue eyes and black hair.

Leila and her husband lived at 970 Park Avenue, Manhattan for many years. She died on 27 November 1957 aged 71.

Her daughter Jane was married in the 1930s to George A. Stern (b. 1907), a stock broker, and the couple had two daughters: June (born 1932, later Iseman) and Faith (b. 1934). Jane died in New York in 1984.

Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mrs Leila Meyer (née Saks)
Age: 25 years 6 months and 17 days (Female)
Nationality: American
Marital Status: Married to Edgar Joseph Meyer
Embarked: Cherbourg on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 17604, £82 3s 5d
Rescued (boat 6)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Wednesday 27th November 1957 aged 71 years

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Newspaper Articles

New York Times (9 April 1912) ANDREW SAKS DEAD AT 65
New York Times (13 April 1912) ANDREW SAKS'S WILL
The San Francisco Call (16 April 1912) RELATIVES HERE AWAIT TIDINGS
The Associated Press Worcester Telegram (18 April 1912) Name Not On List But Woman Is Safe
Le Journal (20 April 1912) How Mrs. Meyer escaped
New York Times (30 April 1912) Relatives Only at Ceremony of Dorothy Drey and Horace A. Saks
New York Tribune (1 December 1912) Father of Mrs. Smith's Boy Went Down with Ship.
New York Times (3 February 1915) TITANIC VICTIM'S ESTATE
New York Times (28 November 1957) Death Notice (10)


Leila Meyer
Leila Saks Meyer
(1921) Leila Meyer and daughter Jane in 1921
(1924) Leila Saks Meyer Ranger
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Comment and discuss

  1. Jan C. Nielsen

    Jan C. Nielsen said:

    Does anyone have a photo of Leila Saks, or Edgar Meyer's daughter, Jane (I think was her name)? I want to use them in my upcoming article for ET.

  2. Randy Bryan Bigham

    Randy Bryan Bigham said:

    I have not come across any photos of her though I have one of her father. As to George's comments about valuables and clothing of Lucile's surviving. Other than the kimono there is very little actually. The fur coat and lifejacket have disappeared and only the robe and a small jewelry bag are left. None of Lucile's jewelry has survived except for her wedding ring which one of her great-granddaughters wears today.

  3. Jan C. Nielsen

    Jan C. Nielsen said:

    Thanks Randy. They have pictures of them at the University of California (Berkeley), including one of the baby. But it's a hassle going there, ordering the photo albums, and wearing white gloves while you go through them. Hoping to avoid having to do that again.

  4. LEILA

    LEILA said:


  5. Mark Baber

    Mark Baber said:

    In fact, the 8 April 1912 death of Mrs. Meyer's father, Andrew Saks of Saks & Co., was the reason the Meyers were returning to New York. There are a couple of articles from The New York Times on about this.

  6. John Lamoreau

    John Lamoreau said:

    Can anyone share with me a picture of Leila Meyer and possibly a copy of something with her hand writing? I am trying to determine if the Marconigram sent from the Carpathia with the message "Leila safe and well cared for. Edgar missing." is in her handwriting. Thanks for any help.

  7. Bob Godfrey

    Bob Godfrey said:

    The messages would have been dictated to somebody like a purser's clerk, who filled in the form. I've seen others from the Carpathia with handwriting identical to that on the Meyer form.

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Gavin Bell, UK
Michael A. Findlay, USA
June Iseman
Craig Stringer, UK
Geoff Whitfield, UK