We all know the love story in James Cameron's 1997 epic Titanic, where Kate Winslet’s lets her lover, Leonardo DiCaprio's character, die despite there being enough space for two on that floating piece of debris. However, not all of us know that it was inspired by a true story! On the real Titanic, Isidor Straus, 67, the owner of Macy's department store, and his wife Ida, 63, were among the passengers.
The couple had gone to sleep by the time when RMS Titanic hit the iceberg. They hurried to the lifeboats. There, the couple were offered spots: Ida was a wealthy woman, while Isidor was old, rich, a known philanthropist and a former congressman.
However, he declined to take a seat while there were still women and children aboard that needed rescuing. He urged Ida to go on the lifeboat – but she chose to stay with her husband. "Isidor, my place is with you," Ida reportedly said to her husband. "I have lived with you. I love you, and if necessary, I shall die with you.”
The witnesses from the boats recounted seeing the couple “standing alongside the rail, holding each other and weeping silently.” Isidor's body was one of the more than 300 recovered, but they never found Ida.
A memorial service for the couple was held on May 12, with 6,000 attendees and many more trying to get inside.
Oh, and when you see the old couple laying in bed, ready to meet their doom at the end of the movie, that's James Cameron's nod to the story of Ida and Isidor.