Margaret Tobin ''Molly'' Brown: Titanic Survivor Pursued Social Reforms

Margaret Tobin ''Molly'' Brown: Titanic Survivor Pursued Social Reforms

2.7 4
by Daniel Alef
     
 
Although Margaret "The Unsinkable Molly" Brown is well known for her heroic efforts in surviving the Titanic disaster, that historic event doesn't begin to reveal the full measure of who she was or what she accomplished during her fascinating life. And Margaret-the name "Molly" was a Hollywood invention-was the subject of as many myths as Aesop had fables. The real

Overview

Although Margaret "The Unsinkable Molly" Brown is well known for her heroic efforts in surviving the Titanic disaster, that historic event doesn't begin to reveal the full measure of who she was or what she accomplished during her fascinating life. And Margaret-the name "Molly" was a Hollywood invention-was the subject of as many myths as Aesop had fables. The real Margaret Brown is often obscured by her characterization in blockbusters such as "Titanic" and, of course, the Broadway musical. And then there's the movie, "The Unsinkable Molly Brown." There was much more to the woman who grew up dirt poor, fell into a fortune through her husband's hard work, and used her wealth for social causes and education. She was not attracted to Denver's "old money," preferring to use her time and money for the benefit of others. Author Daniel Alef's biographical profile of Margaret Brown is not hagiography, but one has to look long and hard for any deficiencies in her character or her life. [2,082-word Titans of Fortune article]

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781608042975
Publisher:
Titans of Fortune Publishing
Publication date:
02/28/2009
Series:
Titans of Fortune
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
846,892
File size:
489 KB
Age Range:
12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Although Margaret "The Unsinkable Molly" Brown is well known for her heroic efforts in surviving the Titanic disaster, that historic event doesn't begin to reveal the full measure of who she was or what she accomplished during her fascinating life.
And Margaret-the name "Molly" was a Hollywood invention-was the subject of as many myths as Aesop had fables. The real Margaret Brown is often obscured by her characterization in blockbusters such as "Titanic" and, of course, the Broadway musical. And then there's the movie, "The Unsinkable Molly Brown," in which Debbie Reynolds portrayed "Molly" on the screen in 1964.
Margaret was born in 1867 in the "Irish Shanty Town" section of Hannibal, Mo., two months prematurely due to a "cyclone" that struck Hannibal, the earliest barometer of her remarkable resilience. Her father was a poor Irish immigrant who worked at the local gas works.
Molly was raised in a tiny, 480-square-foot house two blocks from the Hannibal gas works with her three brothers and sisters; at night the family's chickens and cow occupied the basement -- there was no money or place for a separate barn.
Molly attended a school run by her aunt until she was 13, then went to work in a tobacco factory stripping tobacco leaves 12 hours a day, six days a week. Working conditions were miserable, and this experience sparked a lifelong advocacy for workers and unions. Margaret subsequently went to work in Hannibal's Park Hotel.
One myth places Hannibal's most famous resident, Mark Twain, side-by-side with Margaret, but he left the city years before she was born. Still, she was enthralled by Twain and his writing, subsequently penning an article about him in a Denver newspaper and arranging a transcription of his works into Braille. She also attended the dedication of the Tom and Huck statue in Hannibal in 1926.
In 1883, Margaret's sister and her husband moved to Leadville, Colo., to work in the silver mines; Molly and her brother followed. Leadville was the greatest of all the Colorado mining regions with a population of 40,000 living at the highest altitude of any American city -- 10,000 feet. Like all mining towns, large or small, it was a rough place to live, populated mostly by men seeking their fortunes-even Doc Holliday, the notorious gunslinger moved there after the fight at the O. K. Corral. But the town was thriving when Margaret arrived: There were 14 smelters and reduction plants, producing $10 million of silver annually. She landed a job as a clerk in Daniel, Fisher and Smith's Emporium, a dry-goods store on Harrison Avenue.
In 1886 she met a 34-year-old mining engineer, James Joseph "J.J." Brown, at a church function.

Meet the Author

Daniel Alef has written many articles, one law book, one historical anthology, Centennial Stories, and authored the award-winning historical novel, Pale Truth (MaxIt Publishing, 2000). Foreword Magazine named Pale Truth book of the year for general fiction in 2001 and the novel received many outstanding reviews including ones from Publishers Weekly and the American Library Association's Booklist. A sequel to Pale Truth, currently entitled Measured Swords, has just been completed. Titans of Fortune, biographical profiles of America's great moguls, men and women who had a profound impact on America and the World, began in April 2003. He is also a contributor to the recently released reference work: Gender and Women's Leadership pubished by Sage Publishing. Mr. Alef's experience as a lawyer, CEO of a public company, a rancher, and author, combined with his academic background-UCLA (B.S.), UCLA Law School (J.D.), the London School of Economics and Political Science (LL.M.), and Cambridge University (post-graduate studies)-gave him the perception to analyze the powerful titans and their achievements, and to place their lives and triumphs in a larger perspective. The Titans of Fortune series of articles appeared in several newspapers including the Lee Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, and became a weekly column in the Santa Barbara News Press. Mr. Alef also had a one-hour weekly radio show based on the Titans of Fortune column. He has appeared as a guest speaker and lecturer at various university, Rotary, and Kiwanis clubs, public libraries including San Francisco and Chicago, cruise ships, and at numerous historical societies across the nation. Mr. Alef serves on the Board of Trustees of the Santa Barbara Historical Museum and on the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Activities League. He is a black belt in judo and one of the head instructors of the University of California at Santa Barbara Judo Club. He currently lives with his family in Santa Barbara.

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Margaret Tobin ''Molly'' Brown: Titanic Survivor Pursued Social Reforms 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An excellent synopsis of Brown. Well-written though short.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Easy to read... enjoyed learning about Molly Brown.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is not worth $2. I am a little upset.