Who is Wendy Rush?
Wendy Rush is not just the wife of Stockton Rush, the OceanGate CEO who was piloting the submersible that went missing during a dive to the Titanic wreckage on Sunday.
She is also a descendant of two first-class passengers who died when the ocean liner sank in 1912. Rush is the great-great-granddaughter of Isidor and Ida Straus, a wealthy and influential couple who owned a part of Macy’s department store and were well-known in New York society.
Isidor and Ida Straus were among the 1,500 people who perished in the Titanic disaster, but their story stands out for its tragic romance. According to historical accounts, Isidor refused to take a seat in a lifeboat, insisting that women and children should go first.
Ida, who had initially boarded a lifeboat, got off when she realized her husband was staying behind. She reportedly said to him: “We have lived together for many years. Where you go, I go.” The couple was last seen embracing each other on the deck of the sinking ship.
Their story inspired James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster movie Titanic, which featured a scene where an elderly couple cuddled on a bed as water flooded their cabin. The movie also included a character named Lizzy Calvert, who was based on Wendy Rush’s grandmother and Isidor and Ida’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Straus Weil.
Wendy Rush married Stockton Rush in 1986 and has been involved in his business ventures, including OceanGate, which offers expeditions to the Titanic site. She has visited the wreck three times with her husband’s company and works as its director of communications and expedition team member. She was not on board the submersible Titan when it disappeared on Sunday with five crew members, including her husband.
The search for the missing submersible is still ongoing, with hopes fading as the oxygen supply is estimated to have run out by now. Wendy Rush has not made any public statements about the incident, but she must be feeling a deep connection to her ancestors who also faced a life-or-death situation on the Titanic more than a century ago.