George Dunton Widener
|Died||April 15, 1912 (aged 50)|
|Resting place||North Atlantic Ocean|
|Children||Harry Elkins Widener|
George D. Widener Jr.
|Parent(s)||Peter A. B. Widener|
Hannah Josephine Dunton
|Relatives||Fitz Eugene Dixon Jr. (grandson)|
George Dunton Widener (June 16, 1861 – April 15, 1912) was an American businessman who died in the sinking of the RMS Titanic.
Widener was born in Philadelphia on June 16, 1861. He was the eldest son of Hannah Josephine Dunton (1836–1896) and Peter Arrell Brown Widener (1834–1915), an extremely wealthy streetcar magnate.
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, including Philadelphia Traction Co., Land Title Bank and Trust Co., Electric Storage Battery Co., and Portland Cement Co. A patron of the arts, Widener was a director of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
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 Amalie Gieger in a lifeboat. The women were rescued by the steamship RMS Carpathia, but Widener and his son Harry and their valet Edwin Keeping perished on the Titanic. The bodies of the father and son, if recovered, were not identified.
In 1883, he married Eleanor Elkins, the daughter of his father's business partner, William Lukens Elkins. Together, they had two sons and a daughter:
After Widener and his son's death aboard the Titanic, a memorial service was held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, where stained glass windows were dedicated in their memory.
He was the maternal grandfather of Fitz Eugene Dixon Jr. (1923–2006). Dixon, who lived in Philadelphia, owned the Philadelphia 76ers and was a part owner of the Eagles, the Phillies and the Flyers.
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.
Widener was played by Guy Standing, Jr. in the film Titanic (1953).
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