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How Old Was Jack In Titanic & Was Leonardo DiCaprio The Same Age?

As the fourth highest-grossing film worldwide of all time, James Cameron's "Titanic" has tapped into the raw emotions of countless viewers since the best picture Oscar winner made its debut on the big screen in 1997. 

Among the film's biggest heartbreaks is when Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) becomes one of the more than 1,500 people who perished when the RMS Titanic sunk during its maiden voyage in the Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912. A third-class passenger on the massive vessel, Dawson was the star-crossed lover of Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet), a first-class socialite who feels trapped in her engagement to her fiancé, Caledon Hockley (Billy Zane).

According to James Cameron's "Titanic" Wiki, Jack was 20 years old during the film's events. Born November 11, 1974, in Los Angeles, the eternally-youthful-looking DiCaprio was 23 when "Titanic" was first released in theaters in December 1997. Winslet, on the other hand, was 22 when the film premiered. Her character Rose was 17.

Jack was decades away from the average life expectancy for American males in 1912

Jack Dawson and Rose DeWitt Bukater were both fictionalized characters hailing from America in "Titanic." And while there was coincidentally a person that perished in the Titanic disaster named J. Dawson — as inscribed on his grave marker — his full name was Joseph Dawson, a 30-year-old who worked as a trimmer on the ship. However, Rose was partially inspired by a real-life artist named Beatrice Wood.

The tragedy is that Jack is only a mere 20 when he dies, more than 30 years younger than the average life expectancy of American males in 1912, which was 51 1/2 years. While the age range of passengers on the Titanic spanned from infants aged a few months to an 80-year-old adult, the average age of males who died when the vessel sank was just over 30 years old – 10 years more than Jack's age. 

While a debate has raged over the years that Jack could have survived the Titanic's sinking by clinging onto a door Rose was floating on in the freezing Atlantic Ocean, the buck eventually stopped with the filmmaker who made it all happen. Discussing the film's conclusion in conjunction with its 25th anniversary in 2022, Cameron got scientific to prove Jack really had no chance on that door.

Despite Cameron's revelations, opinions over Jack's tragic fate in "Titanic" likely won't change much, which should keep it on the list of the most controversial movie endings of all time.