Mr Samuel Levi Goldenberg was born in New York on 8 September 1864.
He was the son of Levi Goldenberg (1827-1884), a Lace importer, and Sarah Weinberg (b. 1832). Both his parents were Jewish and originally from Germany, his father coming to the USA around 1846.
He had four known siblings: Julius (b. 1853), Hannah (b. 1854, later Mrs Louis Fischer), Ellen (b. 1856) and Augusta (b. 1859).
Samuel appears on the 1870 and 1880 censuses living with his family in Manhattan. He later settled in France in 1894, living in Paris and representing his Lace-importing firm Goldenberg Brothers & Co, based at 109 Fifth Avenue, New York, but returned to New York in 1900.
He was married in Manhattan on 3 September 1901 to Nella Carlynne Sondheim, née Wiggins. Nella, a widow with two children, had been born in Florence, Italy in 1866 to Alexander Wiggins and Nella DeSilva. The couple, who had no children of their own, settled in Manhattan, appearing on the 1905 census as residents of West 72nd Street but health reasons forced the couple to travel to France in 1907, the milder climate being beneficial to Samuel's wellbeing, and they settled near Nice in Villefranche-sur-Mer but made several trips, seemingly annually, back to the USA and usually aboard German ships. He maintained interests in the firm Goldenberg Brothers & Co at this time and beyond. Well-known dog fanciers, the Goldenberg's kennel name was "Nellcote" and they would often judge in shows and reared English Toy Spaniels and French Bulldogs.
Mr and Mrs Goldenberg boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg on 10 April 1912 as first class passengers (ticket number 17453 which cost £89, 2s, 1d) and they occupied cabin C92. They were en route to attend the French Bull Dog of America show on 20 April, to be held at the Waldorf Astoria.
Mr and Mrs Goldenberg were rescued in lifeboat 5. Dressed only in his pyjamas and dressing gown, with a raincoat and heavier coat over the top and with only slippers on, he brought two rugs from the stateroom, one for he and his wife, and a large canvas bag containing luggage. Mrs Goldenberg later recalled (New York Herald, 21 April 1912):
Mrs. Goldenberg ran out on deck. Mrs. Goldenberg, who had not waited to dress, but had only pulled a skirt over her night dress, was helped into one of the first boats by Mr. Goldenberg, Mr. Ismay and one of the Titanic's officers. She begged her husband to follow her, but he refused. The boat was unfilled when the crew started to lower it, according to Mrs. Goldenberg, and she urged her husband to take a place, as other men had done. "When I saw that he was not coming," said Mrs. Goldenberg, "I called, 'For God's sake say goodby to me then,' and suddenly Mr. Ismay and one of the crew seized Mr. Goldenberg and threw him over the side. He managed to catch the boat ropes and I and others pulled him in..."
Once aboard Carpathia Mr Goldenberg sought out the ship's barber to purchase toiletries.
Met by friends and colleagues at the New York pier following their arrival aboard Carpathia, the Goldenbergs refused to discuss their ordeal with newspaper reporters. They went on to take part in the French Bull Dog show.
Following the disaster the couple shortly returned to France and also spent time in Switzerland for recuperation. As per his 1916 passport Samuel stood at 5' 6½", had an oval face with a small mouth and chin and was of fair complexion with blue/grey eyes and chestnut hair.
By 1917 he and Nella were still living in Villefranche-sur-Mer and spent time residing in Monaco. An affidavit in his 1920 passport states that, whilst a resident of Villefranche-sur-Mer, he had previously lived at 5 Rue Chalfrin (Avenue du Bois-de-Bolougne). By 1921 Samuel had apparently resettled permanently in the USA, living at 109 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, but continued to travel despite ill health in later years.
Samuel and Nella were later divorced and he was remarried to a lady of Polish nobility, Edwiga Grabówska and resettled in Nice where he had a villa. Known as a charitable man, and continuing his love of dogs, Goldenberg was later president of the Canine d'Savoie and also founded a charity for those afflicted with blindness.
Samuel was made a widower when Edwiga died on 30 November 1935. He would survive less than a year and passed away in Nice on 11 October 1936 aged 72 and was buried in Cimiez Cemetery, Cimiez with his second wife. His obituary, from an unidentified newspaper, mistook his second wife Edwiga as the spouse who accompanied him whilst on Titanic.