Although she was married to one of the wealthiest miners in the United States, Margaret Brown, 44, never forgot her roots. The daughter of Irish immigrants, Mrs. Brown worked tirelessly for her two greatest causes: literacy and women's rights. Margaret and her daughter Helen, who was a student at the Sorbonne in 1912, had been traveling throughout Europe and had met the John Jacob Astor party in Egypt. When Margaret received word that her first grandchild was ill, she decided to leave for New York immediately and booked passage on the first available ship: Titanic. Due to her quick decision to leave Europe, very few people, including most of her family, knew that Margaret was on board Titanic.