Margaret Tobin Brown
Molly Brown

"I am a daughter of adventure," said Margaret. Margaret "Maggie" Tobin Brown was an actress, human rights activist, survivor of the Titanic, and directed a life boat. She was born on July 18, 1867 in Hannibal, Missouri. She was a daughter of Irish immigrants. Her father John was an abolitionist, and her mother believed that all children should be educated. Education was not cheap but Mrs. Tobin made sure all her children went to school. As a child Molly learned to steer a boat on the Mississippi River and for a while she worked as waitress at the Park Hotel. After she was finished with school she worked at the Garth Tobacco Factory.

In 1886 she joined her brother in Leadville, Colorado were she worked in a store. She was hoping to become rich so she could provide a better home for her father and mother. There Margaret met James Joseph Brown, a mining engineer. They were married on September 1, 1886, Margaret was only 19 and J.J. was 31. Molly and J.J. had two children, Larry and Catherine. Margaret organized "soup kitchens" to help the poor mining families in Leadville. She also volunteered in the hospital and church. She had a private tutor for herself and often invited her servants to lessons. J.J. was smart and worked hard and was soon a stock holder and manager of a mine in Leadville. The mining company soon struck gold and J.J. became a millionaire. In 1894 Margaret and J.J. moved to Denver, Colorado. Margaret became well known for her fundraising. She was very good at it too! In 1901 Brown studied language and literature at the Carnegie Institute in New York. Sometime later she became involved with Alva Vanderbilt Belmont at political equality league.

The Browns eventually separated in 1909. J.J. did not enjoy being in the spot light and Margaret was getting lots of attention for all her fundraising efforts for charity. Margaret ran for the U.S. Senate from Colorado in 1909 and then again in 1911. Women were allowed to vote in Colorado in 1893! Margaret began traveling and in April 1912 she was on the Titanic when it struck a huge iceberg. Out of about 2,300 passengers only around 700 survived. Margaret was lucky enough to be one, surviving the disaster in a lifeboat. Generous as always, Margaret had raised $10,000 for the less fortunate who had lost everything on the ship before it docked in New York. Mrs. Brown became a national heroine for her work and was nicknamed "The Unsinkable Molly Brown." Acting became her passion and she studied in Paris and eventually touring the United States and Europe performing. In April 1932 she received the French Legion of Honor her efforts during World War I. Margaret Tobin Brown died in her sleep on October 26, 1932 at the age of 65 in New York, New York. The doctors later discovered she had a brain tumor.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

For more information:

By Tarun & Liam, fourth grade, 2006