2018-08-10 05:50:10 UTC
'Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, Sr. (October 20, 1877 – May 7, 1915) was an extremely wealthy American businessman and sportsman, and a member of the famous Vanderbilt family. He died on the RMS Lusitania.
On May 1, 1915, Alfred Vanderbilt boarded the RMS Lusitania bound for Liverpool as a first class passenger. It was a business trip, and he traveled with only his valet, Ronald Denyer, leaving his family at home in New York. On May 7, off the coast of County Cork, Ireland, German U-boat, U-20 torpedoed the ship, triggering a secondary explosion that sank the giant ocean liner within 18 minutes. Vanderbilt and Denyer helped others into lifeboats, and then Vanderbilt gave his lifejacket to save a female passenger. Vanderbilt had promised the young mother of a small baby that he would locate an extra lifevest for her. Failing to do so, he offered her his own life vest, which he proceeded to even tie on to her himself, since she was holding her infant child in her arms at the time. Many consider his actions especially brave and gallant since he could not swim and he knew there were no other lifevests or lifeboats available. Because of his fame, several people on the Lusitania who survived the tragedy were observing him while events unfolded at the time, and so they took note of his actions. He and Denyer were among the 1198 passengers who did not survive the incident. His body was never recovered.'