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 Harry Elkins Widener
Cenotaph

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Harry Elkins Widener

Birth
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death
15 Apr 1912 (aged 27)
At Sea
Cenotaph
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Plot
Section K, Lot 338 (Widener Mausoleum) (CENOTAPH)
Memorial ID
220367688 View Source

American businessman and bibliophile, and a member of the Widener family. His mother built Harvard University's Widener Memorial Library in his memory, after his death on the foundering of the RMS Titanic. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Widener was the son of George Dunton Widener (1861–1912) and Eleanor Elkins Widener, and the grandson of entrepreneur Peter A. B. Widener (1834–1915). He attended The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Harvard College in 1907, where he was a member of Hasty Pudding Theatricals and the Owl Club. Widener's godfather was the British banking magnate, Charles Mills, the 2nd Baron Hillingdon. Along with his parents, in April 1912 Widener boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg, France bound for New York City. As the ship sank Widener's mother and her maid were rescued, but Widener, his father, and his father's valet perished. In 1915, Widener's mother donated the Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library to Harvard in his memory. Two buildings at the Hill School are also dedicated to Widener, and stained glass windows at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania are dedicated to Widener and his father. A Harvard legend holds that in order to spare others her son's fate, Widener's mother insisted (as a condition of her gift) that future Harvard graduates be required to learn to swim. However, while Harvard indeed implemented a swimming test in the 1920s (later dropped), this had nothing to do with Widener.

American businessman and bibliophile, and a member of the Widener family. His mother built Harvard University's Widener Memorial Library in his memory, after his death on the foundering of the RMS Titanic. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Widener was the son of George Dunton Widener (1861–1912) and Eleanor Elkins Widener, and the grandson of entrepreneur Peter A. B. Widener (1834–1915). He attended The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Harvard College in 1907, where he was a member of Hasty Pudding Theatricals and the Owl Club. Widener's godfather was the British banking magnate, Charles Mills, the 2nd Baron Hillingdon. Along with his parents, in April 1912 Widener boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg, France bound for New York City. As the ship sank Widener's mother and her maid were rescued, but Widener, his father, and his father's valet perished. In 1915, Widener's mother donated the Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library to Harvard in his memory. Two buildings at the Hill School are also dedicated to Widener, and stained glass windows at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania are dedicated to Widener and his father. A Harvard legend holds that in order to spare others her son's fate, Widener's mother insisted (as a condition of her gift) that future Harvard graduates be required to learn to swim. However, while Harvard indeed implemented a swimming test in the 1920s (later dropped), this had nothing to do with Widener.

Gravesite Details

Memorial Marker in the family mausoleum, Body was never recovered.

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