When you hear the name "the Unsinkable Molly Brown," you might picture the character Kathy Bates played in the 1997 movie Titanic. Margaret Brown was a real person who led a charmed life that she made the most of. Brown married for love instead of money, but then grew rich anyway. She spent that money improving the world wherever she saw fit. Her personality made her a media darling after the Titanic disaster, and she leveraged her celebrity to promote various causes.
Mrs. Brown dove into high society, becoming a devotee of the arts and learning four languages. She raised funds for a cathedral in Denver, and helped establish the country’s first juvenile court. Two years after the Titanic, Brown ran for the U.S. Senate, but cut her campaign short to volunteer to help France recover from the first World War. She used her Titanic fame to work for workers’ rights, women’s rights, education, and historic preservation, before dying of a brain tumor at age 65.
Read more about the remarkable -and unsinkable- Margaret Brown at the A.V. Club.