Hugh Roscoe Rood, 39, was born in Iowa on 23 March 1873.
He was the son of Vernon Dudley Rood (1842-1906), a doctor who also saw military service, and Sarah Catherine Voorhees (b. 1841). His father was originally from Vermont whilst his mother hailed from New Jersey and he had three known siblings: Grace (1875-1964, later Mrs Yophrazan Jacques), Edson (1877-1915) and Vernon Voorhees (1879-1939).
He appears on the 1880 census living in Anita, Cass, Iowa but the family later moved to San Diego, California and he was still living with his parents in that city at the time of the 1900 census and he had went into the brokerage business. He later settled in Seattle, Washington and joined the Rainier Club, a private elite society, and worked as vice president and general manager of the Perfection Pile Preserving Company.
He was married on 16 January 1909 to Lena Stoiber, née Allen (b. 2 April 1862), a wealthy mining magnate who had previously been married to Edward Stoiber (1856-1906) who owned the Silver Lake gold mine in Silverton, Colorado and who lived in an opulent mansion named Waldheim, also in Silverton. Lena had sold the mine in 1908 to the Guggenheims but Hugh and his wife continued to spend time living between Colorado and Washington.
The couple had been spending time in Europe since late 1911 and by April 1912 were staying in Paris when Hugh was summoned back to Seattle.
Rood booked a single passage on the Titanic and boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a first class passenger (ticket number 113767, £50), he occupied cabin A-32.
His wife arrived back in New York on 26 April 1912 aboard Kaiserin Auguste Victoria and stayed in the Plaza Hotel. Apparently in disbelief that her husband had died, she placed following advertisement in the New York Herald:
INFORMATION WANTED concerning HUGH R. ROOD of Seatte, Wash. passenger on Titanic, occupying cabin 32. Deck A. Grateful for any news of his survival or death, by telegraph at my expense. Mrs. HUGH ROOD, Hotel Plaza, New York City.
Lena, reportedly a very eccentric lady, is believed to have settled in Italy having survived four marriages. She is believed to have died in 1935.