October 26, 1865 – April 15, 1912
Benjamin Guggenheim Background
Next to Colonel John Jacob Astor in financial importance, on the Titanic, was American businessman, Benjamin Guggenheim, those father founded the famous house of M. Guggenheim and Sons. When the various Guggenheim interests were consolidated into the American Smelting and Refining Company Benjamin retired from active business, although he later became interested in the Power and Mining Machinery Company of Milwaukee. In 1894 he married Miss Floretta Seligman, daughter of James Seligman, the New York banker.
An Affair To Remember
Like the Astor's and Molly Brown, Benjamin boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg, in France, on Wednesday, 10th of April , 1912. He was accompanied by his mistress, a French singer named Madame Léontine Aubart (1887-1964), his valet, Victor Giglio (1888-1912), his chauffeur, René Pernot (1872-1912), and Madame Aubart's maid Emma Sägesser (1887-1964).
Benjamin, who shared his room with valet, Victor Giglio, slept through the initial impact of the iceberg. The men were awoken by Léontine and her maid, who had both felt the collison. The men were persuaded to dress and bedroom Steward, Henry Samuel Etches, helped Benjamin on with a lifebelt and a heavy sweater. The group then went up to the Boat Deck where the two ladies boarded lifeboat 9. The two men, realizing the enormity of the situation, returned to their cabin and changed into evening attire. Benjamin was noted as saying "We've dressed up in our best and are prepared to go down like gentlemen." The bodies of Benjamin and Giglio were never recovered.
Whilst the Guggenheim partied in first-class, the poor old chaffeur Pernot occupied an unknown cabin in second class. He also perished.
Benjamins ticket number for the Titanic was 17593 and he (and valet) occupied Stateroom cabin no. B82 . His mistress (and her maid) occupied cabin no. B35
The maid recalled Giglio's response to the possiblity that they had struck an iceberg "Never mind, icebergs! What is an iceberg?"