Exactly 100 years ago today, on April 15, 1912, the RMS Titanic sank. More than 1,500 people died on the ship. Although it's easy to get caught up in the love story of Jack and Rose, this tragedy affected many who are closer to us (and Harvard) than we might think.

Among those who sailed on the Titanic are the following Harvard students and benefactors:

1. J. Isidor Straus, Class of 1893, who co-owned Macy's and served in the House of Representatives. His three sons built freshman dormitory Straus Hall in his memory.

2. R. Norris Williams II '16, a notable tennis player. Williams survived the sinking of the ship and went on to win his Olympic gold in 1924.

3. Francis D. Millet, Class of 1869, a painter and sculptor who directed decorations and functions for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. He was also a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and one of the founders of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

4. John Jacob Astor IV, who attended Harvard before serving as a lieutenant colonel in the Spanish American War, building the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, and writing a book. He was the wealthiest man on the Titanic.

5. Harry Elkins Widener, Class of 1907. In his memory, Widener's mother built the Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:


An earlier version of this blog post stated that R. Norris Williams II '16 died on the Titanic. In fact, Williams was on the ship but survived.