Unsinkable Molly Brown

Margaret Brown (née Tobin)

18 July 1867 – 26 October 1932

Portrait of Margaret 'Molly' Brown

Above: A portrait of the ‘unsinkable’ Margaret “Molly” Brown, the American socialite and philanthropist, who survived aboard lifeboat no. 6.

18 July 1867 – the date that Molly Brown was born Margaret Tobin, in Hannibal, Missouri, to John Tobin and Johanna (nee Collins).

18 – the age at which Margaret relocated to Leadville, Colorado and started work in a department store. Whilst living in Leadville she met James Joseph (‘J.J.’) Brown (1854-1922).

01 September 1886 – the date that James and Margaret married, at Leadville’s Annunciation Church.

I decided that I’d be better off with a poor man whom I loved than with a wealthy one whose money had attracted me. So I married Jim Brown. -Margaret ‘Molly’ Brown

19 – Margaret’s age at the time they married.

31 – James’ age at the time they married.

12 – the difference in age between Molly and J.J., in years.

Did Molly Brown have children?

She did. Molly and James had two children, a boy and a girl, both of whom were in their twenties by the time Molly sailed on Titanic.

30 August 1887 – the date their first child, Lawrence (‘Larry’) Palmer Brown was born.

22 July 1889 – the date their second child, Catherine (‘Helen’) Ellen Brown was born.

12,500 – the number of shares of stock (equivalent to 12.5%) that J.J. Brown was awarded when the mining company he was working for (Ibex Mining Company) struck a significant seam of gold and copper ore at the Little Jonny Mine. J.J. – who had been the superintendent at the time, and who was instrumental in the discovery of the seam – was also given a position on the board.

1894 – the year in which J.J. and Margaret moved to the wealthy neighbourhood of Capitol Hill, Denver.

$30,000 – the vale of the mansion that J.J. and Margaret purchased in Denver.

4 – the number of languages that Margaret Brown could speak fluently (English, French, German, and Italian).

1909 – the year in which Margaret and J.J. signed a separation agreement and parted company (although they retained a respectful and caring relationship).

23 – the number of years that Margaret and J.J. were married before their separation.

$700 – Margaret’s monthly allowance following their separation.

05 September 1922 – the date of J.J.’s death, following a series of heart attacks.

I’ve never met a finer, bigger, more worthwhile man than J.J. Brown. -Margaret Brown following J.J.’s death in 1922

$238,000 – the net worth of J.J.’s estate at the time of his death.

5 – the number of years over which Margaret and her children – Larry and Helen – fought over J.J.’s will (he died without leaving a will to give clear instructions on the division of his estate). Margaret had no further contact with her children.

$20,000 – the value of cash and securities awarded to Margaret.

$100,000 – the value of a trust fund set up in Margaret’s name, from which she received interest.

$118,000 – the balance of J.J.’s estate that went to Larry and Helen Brown.

6 – the number of the lifeboat carrying Molly Brown; she called for the boat to turn back to find survivors, although no reliable evidence exists that any further survivors were found.

44 – Molly Brown’s age when she sailed upon Titanic.

26 October 1932 – the date of Margaret Brown’s death.

65 – her age when she died.

More To Explore

If you have enjoyed reading all about Molly Brown, why not find out how many people survived, explore facts about some of the other survivors of the tragedy, about the Titanic sinking, or read a detailed account of where the ship sank.