There are a lot of history buffs out in the world who love to learn about the sinking of the RMS Titanic. But how many people take the time to learn about the survivors?
Millvina Dean was the last living survivor of the Titanic, who passed away at the age of 97 in 2009. This is her story.
Millvina was the youngest person to board the Titanic in 1912 at 9-weeks-old. She boarded with her mother, father, and older brother. Her family boarded the ship in Southampton, England, to move to the United States. They had plans to live in Kansas City, where Millvina’s father had family that owned a tobacco business he was going to work for.
When the Titanic hit the iceberg less than one week after setting sail, Millvina credits her survival to her father, who could feel the ship shudder after the collision.
Many passengers were still under the impression that the ship wouldn’t sink during the first few moments of chaos, but Millvina told the Los Angeles Times that her father “didn’t take a chance.”
Millvina, her mother, and her brother were all put into lifeboats. Tragically, her father died along with over a thousand other passengers when the boat sank in the wee hours of the morning on April 15th, 1912.
Millvina and her mother were on the same lifeboat while her brother ended up on a different one, but they all reunited on the RMS Carpathia, the ocean liner that was the first to respond to the sinking.
The three remaining members of the Dean family spent a few weeks recovering in a New York City hospital before her mother decided to take them back to England aboard the Adriatic to live at her parent’s house.
The three of them were physically okay for the most part, except for her mother, who would suffer from intense headaches at least once a day after the sinking.