George Dunton Widener

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George Dunton Widener
George D. Widener
Born (1861-06-16)June 16, 1861
Died April 15, 1912(1912-04-15) (aged 50)
RMS Titanic
Cause of death Drowning
Resting place North Atlantic Ocean
Coordinates: 41°43′55″N 49°56′45″W / 41.73194°N 49.94583°W / 41.73194; -49.94583
Residence Lynnewood Hall, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania
Occupation Businessman
Board member of Philadelphia Traction Co., Land Title Bank and Trust Co., Electric Storage Battery Co., Portland Cement Co., Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
Spouse(s) Eleanor Elkins
Children Harry Elkins (1885-1912)
George Dunton Jr. (1889-1971)
Eleanor (1891-1953), married Fitz Eugene Dixon, 1912
Parent(s) Peter A. B. Widener
Hannah Josephine Dunton

George Dunton Widener (June 16, 1861 – April 15, 1912) was an American businessman who died in the sinking of the RMS Titanic.


Born in Philadelphia, Widener was the eldest son of Hannah Josephine Dunton (1836-1896) and the extremely wealthy streetcar magnate Peter A. B. Widener (1834-1915).

He joined his father's business and eventually took over the running of the Philadelphia Traction Company, overseeing the development of cable and electric streetcar operations. He also served on the board of directors of several important area businesses. A patron of the arts, Widener was a Director of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

In 1883, he married Eleanor Elkins, the daughter of his father's business partner, William Lukens Elkins. They had two sons, Harry Elkins Widener (1885-1912), George Dunton Widener, Jr. (1889-1971), and a daughter, Eleanor Widener Dixon (1891-1953).

In 1912, Widener, his wife, and their son Harry traveled to Paris, France, with original intentions to find a chef for Widener's new Philadelphia hotel, The Ritz Carlton. The Wideners booked their return passage on RMS Titanic. After the ship struck an iceberg, Widener placed his wife and her maid in a lifeboat. The women were rescued by the steamship RMS Carpathia, but Widener and his son Harry perished on the Titanic. Their bodies, if recovered, were not identified. A memorial service for them was held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, where stained glass windows were dedicated in their memory. Two weeks after their untimely deaths on the Titanic, Widener's daughter Eleanor married Fitz Eugene Dixon at the family estate in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.

Widener had commissioned Horace Trumbauer to design and oversee construction of Miramar, a 30,000-square-foot (2,800 m2) French neoclassical-style mansion bordering Bellevue Avenue on Aquidneck Island at Newport, Rhode Island. Intended as a summer home, it was still in the design stage at the time of his death.[1]

Legacy in popular culture[edit]

Widener was played by Guy Standing, Jr. in the film Titanic (1953).