Titanic’s Jack Dawson may have been a fictional character, but there was an actual J. Dawson onboard the doomed ship. Who was this J. Dawson?
James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster film Titanic put a romantic twist on the historical tragedy by telling a star-crossed love story of Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet), but did Jack Dawson actually exist? Many characters in the film were real people who were known to have sailed on Titanic’s fateful maiden voyage, including Captain Edward Smith, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Benjamin Guggenheim, and J. Bruce Ismay, the director of the real-life navigation company White Star Line.
The RMS Titanic sank in the early hours of April 15th, 1912 in the North Atlantic Ocean. Of the 2,240 passengers and crew, more than 1,500 perished when the ship struck an iceberg and sank within hours. Nearly everyone has heard the story of the so-called “unsinkable ship” that met its tragic end in icy waters off the coast of Newfoundland on its journey from Europe to New York. Cameron’s film sparked renewed interest in the historical event, especially after casting heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio as the movie’s doomed love interest, Jack Dawson. Since then, fans of the film have been wondering: was Jack Dawson a real person?