R. Norris Williams not only survived the sinking of Titanic, but he also refused the doctor’s decision to amputate his legs, recovered from his injuries and won the US Tennis Championship the same year!
Richard Norris Williams started playing tennis at the fragile age of 12. Eventually, all of his hard work paid off, because he went on to win several big championships. In fact, one of the contests he won, he actually won in the year he survived the sinking of the RMS liner Titanic. Richard and his father were on board of the Titanic when the liner collided with an iceberg. He managed to climb on board of one of the life boats, even though he had to spend hours in the freezing water. As a result, the doctor on board of the RMS Carpathia, which rescued most of the survivors, wanted to amputate his legs.
Williams refused to go with the doctor’s decision and voted against the amputation. He managed to get up and take walks every couple of hours on the board of Carpathia. He also fully recovered from his severe injuries the same year. Williams entered the US Tennis Championship, which took place that year, and actually won it, despite his injuries! And he was only 21 years old at that time!
He went on to win many more championships and titles. He also served in World War I and received several honors. After the war was over, Williams returned back to his beloved tennis. He died at the age of 77 in 1968. His coroner ruled out that the cause of his death was emphysema.