The Tragic True Story Of The Real-Life Lovers Who Inspired James Cameron’s Titanic

More than 25 years after James Cameron’s 1997 epic Titanic hit theaters, Jack and Rose’s ill-fated romance continues to captivate people the world over. And though the characters were entirely fictional, their tragic tale wasn’t all that different from that of a real couple on board the Titanic in 1912. But who were they, and what makes their story so heart-rending, even a hundred years later?

The star-crossed voyage

It was midday on Wednesday, April 10, 1912, in the port of Southampton, England, when the RMS Titanic lifted her anchor for the first time. She was the quickest, largest, and grandest ocean liner of her time.

And after three years in construction, she was finally ready for what was set to be a historic journey. But, as we know, the iconic vessel would never complete her maiden voyage.

No one could have foreseen its fate

Measuring an impressive 882 feet 9 inches in length and weighing more than 46,000 tons, the Titanic was celebrated worldwide as a phenomenal feat of engineering. When she set off, the ship was carrying around 2,200 people — barely half of her full capacity.

But none of those passengers — including movie stars, millionaires, and immigrants looking for a fresh start — could have foreseen the dreadful fate that would befall this “unsinkable” ship.

A tale as old as time

There are probably thousands of tales from the night of April 14, 1912, when the Titanic struck the fatal iceberg that would cause her to plunge to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean within just three hours. But one story has surfaced that’s quite unlike any other.

The story of Isidor and Ida Straus has been known for a while, but in 2017 Paul Kurzman shared the astonishing account of his great-grandparents to Country Living. They were a couple whose extraordinary exhibition of unwavering love mesmerized their fellow passengers.

A journey like no other

Isidor and Ida Straus, a wealthy husband and wife from New York. Having enjoyed a luxurious winter vacation in Europe, the pair boarded the Titanic in Southampton for their lengthy journey home across the North Atlantic.

Apparently, a coal strike in England prevented the pair from boarding another ship home. And after they boarded the Titanic, of course, they would never make it to the Big Apple.