Titanic’s premier transatlantic crossing was an auspicious occasion, with a passenger list that included some of the world's richest, most influential, glamorous, and well-known people of the Western World, including:
- Mr. and Mrs. John Jacob Astor, wealthy banker.
- Major Archibald Butts, Aide to President Taft.
- J. Bruce Ismay, managing Director of the White Star Line, the ship’s owner, and heir to the White Star fortune.
- William T. Stead, well-known English editor.
- Isidor Strauss, wealthy New York merchant.
- Frank Millet, noted artist.
- Benjamin Guggenheim
- Lady Duff Gordon
- Margaret Brown (The Unsinkable Molly Brown)
- Noel Leslie, Lady Countess of Rothes
The public quickly latched onto tales of upper crust heroism (exaggerated, true and false): Major Butts' allegedly held off panicked men so women and children could enter lifeboats; Mrs. Strauss gave up her seat in a lifeboat in order to remain with her husband on the doomed ship; And Bruce Ismay's alleged cowardice, climbing aboard a lifeboat though women and children were waiting for places. All of these stories, and the accompanying photographs of the dead and living added to the Titanic mythos.