Last Titanic Survivor Dead at 97

By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff

Posted May 31, 2009 5:22 PM CDT

(Newser) – The last Titanic survivor has died at age 97, with no memory of the disaster but pleased by the attention it brought her, the BBC reports. Millvina Dean was 9 weeks old when the ship sank in 1912 and claimed her father's life, but spared her mother and brother. The Deans abandoned plans to move to America and returned to Southampton. "If it hadn't been for the ship going down, I'd be an American,” Dean liked to say.

She struggled with poverty late in life and was forced to auction some Titanic memorabilia. Titanic stars Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, and director James Cameron, donated funds to help pay for her nearly $5,000 monthly care home bill. Despite her hardships, Dean enjoyed telling her story. “I like it, because everyone makes such a fuss of me!” she said.

The Titanic International Society says Millvina Dean, the last survivor of the sinking of the Titanic, has died.
The Titanic International Society says Millvina Dean, the last survivor of the sinking of the Titanic, has died.   (AP Photo/Nancy Palmieri, File)
An April 3, 2002 photo from files of Millvina Dean the last living survivor of the Titanic disaster, at an unknown location in England.
An April 3, 2002 photo from files of Millvina Dean the last living survivor of the Titanic disaster, at an unknown location in England.   (AP Photo/PA, Chris Ison, File)
 A May 19, 2003 photo shows Millvina Dean, the last living survivor of the Titanic disaster with a painting of the vessel, at an unknown location in England.
A May 19, 2003 photo shows Millvina Dean, the last living survivor of the Titanic disaster with a painting of the vessel, at an unknown location in England.   (AP Photo/PA, John Stillwell, File)
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I think sometimes they look on me as if I am the Titanic! Honestly, some of them are quite weird about it. - Millvina Dean, after visiting a Titanic convention in the US

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