Titanium was first discovered in 1791 by English clergyman/chemist William Gregor.  He found it in a type of black sand that is now known as ilmenite.  A German chemist named Klaproth discovered the element in an ore called rutile.  He named the element after the Titans, the sons of the Earth.

There was not a commercially viable process for separating Titanium from ores until Wilhelm Kroll designed one in 1937.