Margaret "Molly" Tobin Brown
NAME: Margaret "Maggie" Tobin Brown, known as "Molly
DATE OF BIRTH: July 18,1867
PLACE OF BIRTH: Hannibal, Missouri
DATE OF DEATH: October 26, 1932
PLACE OF DEATH:New York, New York
FAMILY BACKGROUND: Margaret Brown was not born into wealth. She
was the daughter of Irish immigrants and had a brother, Daniel. As a
teenager, Margaret moved to Leadville, Colorado where her brother worked
in the mines and she worked in a mercantile store. She married James
Joseph Brown in 1886 and the couple moved to neighboring Stumpftown
where they began a soup kitchen for mining families. It was here that
Margaret first became involved with the women's suffrage movement.
EDUCATION: Margaret attended elementary school in Hannibal; her
aunt was the administrator of the school. In 1901 Margaret attended
the Carnegie Institute to study language and literature. After the sinking
of the Titanic, Margaret studied acting in Paris and New York in the
Sarah Bernhard style.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Margaret Brown is widely known as "The Unsinkable
Molly Brown," a woman famous for surviving the sinking of the Titanic.
She was also an actress, an activist and was a devoted philanthropist.
Her husband started as a miner; moved up to superintendent; and then
gained his fortune by inventing a method to reach the gold at the very
bottom of mines. In 1894 the Browns moved to Denver and became active
in its philanthropic and political circles: Margaret was one of the
founders of the Denver Woman's Club which assisted women and children
and also worked to begin one of the first juvenile courts in the country.
Shortly after she attempted to gain a seat in Congress, even before
women received the right to vote.
While the Browns were in Egypt in 1912, they learned that their grandson
was ill; Margaret booked her seat on the Titantic to go to him. Margaret's
heart and fluency in languages allowed her to aid her fellow passengers
during the sinking of the Titanic. The French Legion of Honour recognized
Margaret in 1932 by awarding her for her efforts during the sinking
and her work with miners and women and children.
Blos, Joan, W. The Heroine of the Titanic: a Tale Both True and
Otherwise of the Life of Molly Brown. New York: Morrow Junior Books,
1991. [Lakewood Public Library jBIO Brown]
Iversen, Kristen. Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth. 1999 [Cleveland
Landau, Elaine. Heroine of the Titanic: the Real Unsinkable Molly
Brown. New York: Clarion Books, 2001. [Lakewood Public Library
page may be cited as:
Women in History. Molly Brown biography.
Lakewood Public Library. Date accessed