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Captain Edward J. Smith: ultimately responsible for more than 2,200 lives and the $7.5 million vessel.

Photo copyright Mary Evans Picture Library/Everett Collection

History is inconclusive about Captain Smith's final acts and last words. Whatever the doomed commander said, all post-rescue accounts of his last words emphasized Smith's heroism and self-sacrifice. He was reported to have said all, some, or none of the following:

"Be British, boys! Be British!"

"Every man for himself!"

"Goodbye, boys! I'm going to follow the ship!"

"I will follow the ship!"

"Well, boys, do your best for the women and children, and look out for yourselves."

"All right, boys. Good luck, and God bless you."

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