Saturday, February 23, 2008
Benjamin Guggenheim was born on October 26, 1865 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to the Iron Baron: Meyer Guggenheim. Ben was inherited his fortune after his father died. He married Florette Seligmon in 1894. He later had three daughters named Benita Rosalind,
Marguerita, and Barbara Hazel Guggenheim. They lived in New York but his business as President of the International Steam Pump Company kept him in Paris so he rented an apartment and came home on occasions. He was coming home on the TITANIC to see his family with his valet, Victor Giglio, his chauffer, Rena Pernot and mistress French singer, Leontine Aubert, and her maid, Emma Sagesser. Giglio and Ben shared B-28 while Aubert and Sagesser shared B-35. Both pairs slept through the collision with the iceberg and were woken up by their room steward, Henry Samuel Etches. After seeing the women away on boat No. 7, Ben and Giglio whom realized the danger went down into their cabins, took off their life jackets, and changed into their evening clothes. Ben later said when asked why he didn't have his life jacket on, he said "It was too uncomfortable: we have dressed now in our best and are prepared to go down like gentlemen. he later said to Steward Etches "If anything should happen to me, I'd like my wife to know that I have acted descently. Benjamin Guggenheim and Victor Giglio were last seen sitting in deck chairs sipping brandy and smoking their pipes as the deck listed beneath them. Their bodies were never recovered. Ben's three daughters inherited 450,000 dollars each.