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Famous People You’ve Never Heard Of: Capt. George Fried

Posted in Famous People You've Never Heard Of  by Steven on January 19th, 2009

George Fried was American ocean liner captain of the United States Lines who commanded several at-sea rescues over his career. As Captain of the SS President Roosevelt he and his crew were given a ticker tape parade through New York City on February 16, 1926 for their daring rescue of the crew of the French ship Antinoe the month before.

Frequently described in newspapers as “Captain George Fried, hero of several sea rescues,” other rescues he made were of the Italian freighter Florida in a terrible Atlantic storm while Captain of SS America on January 22, 1929, and of a pilot testing the feasibility of trans-Atlantic airmail, whose crippled plane had the luck of crashing in bad weather within sight of the President Roosevelt:

From Time Magazine, May 23, 1932:

Toward a spot on the Atlantic 47 mi. west of Fastnet Light, off the tip of southern Ireland, three men were hurrying last week. They had no rendezvous. It was sheer luck that when Louis T. Reichers set his crippled monoplane down in a sea whipped up by a nasty blow, Captain George Fried of the S. S. Roosevelt, famed for his North Atlantic rescues, was there with his equally famed Chief Officer Harry Manning to send overside in a lifeboat. Chief Officer Manning yanked Pilot Reichers out of his foundering plane, unharmed save for a broken nose, a lacerated face. After they clambered back on board, Captain Fried abandoned the lifeboat, pointed his ship toward Manhattan, wrote a signed dispatch for the Associated Press.

He was Captain of the SS Manhattan, who, along with her sister ship Washington, were the largest liners of their day, and whose First Class cabins were so luxurious that other cruise lines were forced to reclassify their First Class accommodations as “Cabin Class”

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