Elizabeth Gladys Millvina Dean was born on the 2nd February 1912, and is currently the last remaining survivor of the RMS Titanic that sunk when she only two and a half months old. Today she represents our last living link with the ill fated ship.
Millvina's parents decided to leave England and emigrate to Kansas where her father had hoped to open a tobacco shop. The Deans were not supposed to be aboard the Titanic, but owing to a coal strike, they were transferred to the ship and boarded it at Southampton, England. Millvina's father felt the ship's collision with the iceberg on the night of 14 April 1912, and after investigating, returned to his cabin telling his wife to dress the children and go up on deck. Millvina and her mother Georgette were placed in Lifeboat 13. Georgette was later reunited with her son but lost her husband in the disaster and returned to England by another ship where Millvina attracted a lot of attention by being such a small child and surviving the disaster. The first article about her appeared in the Daily Mirror newspaper of 12 May 1912.
Millvina never married, and worked for the British government during the Second World War and later as a purchaser for a local engineering firm. Other careers she has had were as a cartographer, a secretary and an assistant to a tobacconist. Her mother died in 1975.
Over the years she has participated in numerous conventions, exhibitions, documentaries, television and radio interviews, and personal correspondence. In 1996, she visited Belfast for the first time, and in 1997, she was invited to travel aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2 to the United States to complete her family's intended voyage to Wichita.
In 2006, she fell and broke her hip, which led her to miss the commemoration of the 95th anniversary of the Titanic's sinking in 2007. Southampton's mayor paid her a special visit, where he presented her a large bouquet of flowers. She became the last living survivor on 16 October 2007, on the death of Barbara West Dainton.
Dean accepted an invitation to speak in Southampton in April 2008 at an event commemorating the 96th anniversary of the Titanic's sinking, but ill health forced her to cancel. She became the last living survivor on 16 October 2007, on the death of Barbara West Dainton.
Today the 96 year old lady is in the news after announcing that she would be auctioning off her Titanic memorabilia to help pay for her nursing home costs, including a century-old suitcase of clothing that was donated to her destitute family after their rescue.