J. Bruce Ismay
Joseph Bruce Ismay (12 December 1862 – 17 October 1937) was an English businessman who served as chairman and managing director of the White Star Line of steamships. He came to international attention as the highest-ranking White Star official among the 705 survivors (vs. 1,517 fatalities from crew and passengers totaling 2,223) of the maiden voyage of his company's marquee ocean liner, the RMS Titanic.
Ismay was born in Crosby, Lancashire, a small town near Liverpool. He was the son of Thomas Henry Ismay (7 January 1837 – 23 November 1899) and Margaret Bruce (13 April 1837 – 9 April 1907), daughter of ship-owner Luke Bruce. Thomas Ismay was the senior partner in Ismay, Imrie and Company and the founder of the White Star Line. The younger Ismay was educated at Elstree School and Harrow, then tutored in France for a year. He was apprenticed at his father's office for four years, after which he toured the world. He then went to New York City as the company representative, eventually rising to the rank of agent.
On 4 December 1888, Ismay married Julia Florence Schieffelin (1871 – 31 December 1963), daughter of George Richard Schieffelin and Julia Matilda Delaplaine of New York, with whom he had five children:
- Margaret Bruce Ismay (29 December 1889 – 1967), who married George Ronald Hamilton Cheape (1881–1957) in 1912
- Henry Bruce Ismay (April 1891 – 1 October 1891)
- Thomas Bruce Ismay (18 February 1894 – ), who married Jane Margaret Seymour
- Evelyn Constance Ismay (17 July 1897 – 9 August 1940), who married Basil Sanderson (1894–1971) in 1927
- George Bruce Ismay (6 June 1902 – 30 April 1943), who married Florence Victoria Edrington in 1926.
In 1891, Ismay returned with his family to the United Kingdom and became a partner in his father's firm, Ismay, Imrie and Company. In 1899, Thomas Ismay died, and Bruce Ismay became head of the family business. Ismay had a head for business, and the White Star Line flourished under his leadership. In addition to running his ship business, Ismay also served as a director of several other companies. In 1901, he was approached by Americans who wished to build an international shipping conglomerate, and agreed to merge his firm into the International Mercantile Marine Company.
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