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The 50-year-old Managing Director of White Star Line, was one of the most powerful men in the shipping industry. Son of Thomas H. Ismay, who founded the line in 1869, Joseph Bruce Ismay had ascended to the management of the company with his brothers by the turn of the century. In 1902, the American financier J. Pierpont Morgan, who was buying shipping companies for his enormous International Mercantile Marine (IMM) trust, negotiated the purchase of White Star Line. J. Bruce Ismay alone of his family remained with the company. In 1907, in response to the competition posed by rival Cunard Line's new mammoth liners Lusitania and Mauretania, Ismay conceived of a trio of even larger, grander and more luxuriant ships that would re-assert White Star's dominance of the lucrative and prestigious transatlantic trade. Titanic was the second of this trio. Ismay sailed on her maiden voyage, confident that Titanic represented the triumph of his career.
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