Wife of Titan pilot and OceanGate CEO is great-great-granddaughter of Macy's founder who died on Titanic

22 June 2023, 13:01

Wendy Rush (bottom right) wife of missing OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush (top right)  is a descendant of Ida and Isidor Straus who were killed on Titanic in 1912
Wendy Rush (bottom right) wife of missing OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush (top right) is a descendant of Ida and Isidor Straus who were killed on Titanic in 1912. Picture: social media

By StephenRigley

The wife of the CEO of the missing Titanic tourist submarine is descended from a legendary New York couple who drowned on the Titanic.

Wendy Rush is married to Stockton Rush, one of the five men trapped in Titan after it vanished on Sunday during a trip to visit the wreckage.

Her great-great-grandparents, Isidor and Ida Straus, died in the disaster - with Isidor being a co-founder of the Macy's department store.

They were also immortalized in James Cameron's 1997 film as Ida refused to board a lifeboat and was seen embracing Isidor on a bed as water rushed into the ship.

Ida and Isidor Straus
Ida and Isidor Straus. Picture: Straus Historical Society

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Wendy Rush, born Wendy Hollings Weil, married engineer and entrepreneur Stockton Rush in 1986. She is descended from Isidor and Ida Straus's daughter Minnie, who married Dr. Richard Weil in 1905.

Their son, Richard Weil Jr., later served as president of Macy's New York, and his son, Dr. Richard Weil III, is Wendy Rush's father, The New York Times reported.

Isidor and Ida were two of the richest people onboard the Titanic when it sank to the bottom of the ocean during its maiden voyage - from Southampton to New York City - after striking an iceberg.

The couple had in real life visited their native Germany, and were travelling back to the United States on the Titanic with Ida's recently-appointed maid, Ellen Bird, and Isidor's manservant, John Farthing.

As the Titanic began to sink, Isidor and Ida were offered seats on a lifeboat - her as a woman, and him as a well-known former congressman and co-owner of Macy's department store - giving them priority over other passengers.

But Isidor refused, saying he would not go until all the women and children had gone, and Ida then refused to go without her husband of 40 years.

Wendy Rush
Wendy Rush. Picture: Linked In
Stockton Rush
Stockton Rush. Picture: social media

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Wendy Rush has visited the Titanic wreckage three times with her husband's company in the last two years, and works as OceanGate's communications director.

Stockton Rush, 61, founded OceanGate in 2009.

The Seattle-born, Princeton-educated aeronautical engineer worked on fighter jets and initially hoped to go to Mars before switching his attention to the sea.

In addition to Rush, the passengers are British billionaire Hamish Harding; French Titanic expert PH Nargeolet; and Pakistani fathe and son Shahzada Dawood, 48, and Sulaiman Dawood, 19.

They are feared to have died after the sub's oxygen supply 'ran out' Thursday morning.

Rescue crews from the US, France and Canada are still trying to find the vessel, which is understood to have last 'pinged' while directly above the Titanic wreck.