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Karl Behr And Richard Norris Williams, Titanic Survivors, Have Little Known Story Of Survival And Triumph

Titanic

First Posted: 03/14/2012 11:07 am Updated: 03/14/2012 3:15 pm

After the Costa Concordia sank in January, inevitable parallels to the Titanic tragedy 100 years prior were drawn. A Concordia passenger even reported that the theme from the "Titanic" movie was playing on the ship as it hit the rocks.

Though Costa cruises was criticized for the poor handling of the Concordia's evacuation, Titanic passengers fared even worse. But, there are still some miraculous stories from the crash on April 15, 1912 -- some of which are just now coming to light.

As the Daily Mail reports, Richard Norris Williams and Karl Behr, both top tennis stars, were aboard the Titanic.

Behr, 26, was aboard the ship to pursue a woman named Helen Newsom. The couple was able to get off the ship in the second lifeboat deployed, where it's said that Behr proposed. A biography of the two, written by their granddaughter, explores their story, according to Marketwatch.

Williams, 21, was en route to the US Championships in Newport with his father when disaster struck. According to Arizona's The Daily Courier, Williams was forced overboard by a wave, but survived by holding onto a lifeboat before eventually being pulled in. As a result of spending so much time half submerged, doctors wanted to amputate his frostbitten legs. He refused.

The two men were brought together as part of the 1925-26 Davis Cup Championship teams. Williams was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1957, and Behr in 1969.

Behr and Williams are the subject of a new display curated by tennis memorabilia collector Robert Fuller at The Pavilions of Harrogate Antiques & Fine Art Fair in the UK. Washington's National Geographic Museum will also host an exhibit on the cruise liner to coincide with the 100th anniversary, it was announced earlier this month.

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Filed by Rebecca Dolan  |