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  • Astor
  • IV Astor Jacob John
  • J.J. Astor
  • John Jacob 04


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John Jacob Astor IV (1864)

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Billionaire John Jacob Astor IV (July 13, 1864 – April 15, 1912) was an American businessman, real estate builder, investor, inventor, writer, lieutenant colonel in the Spanish-American War and a member of the prominent Astor family. He was the richest passenger aboard the Titanic. In April 1912, Astor earned a prominent place in history when he embarked on the ocean liner RMS Titanic, which sank four days into its maiden voyage after colliding with an iceberg. Astor did not survive.


John Jacob Astor IV was born on July 13, 1864. John Jacob IV was the great-grandson of John Jacob Astor whose fortune, made in opium, fur trade and real estate, made the Astor family one of the wealthiest families in the U.S. Astor attended St Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire and later attended Harvard University.


In 1891, Astor married Ava Lowle Willing. The couple had two children — William Vincent Astor, born in 1891 and Ava Alice Muriel Astor, born in 1902 — before their divorce in 1909.

Since divorce was considered a scandal back then, all in society were shocked when Astor announced that he would marry again. At the age of 47, he married 18-year-old Madeleine Talmage Force, the sister of Katherine Emmons Force. They were married in his mother's ballroom at Beechwood, the family's Newport, Rhode Island house. Madeleine was a year younger than Colonel Astor's son Vincent. The couple took an extended honeymoon in Europe and Egypt to wait for the gossip to calm down. Among the few Americans who did not spurn him at this time was Margaret Brown, later fictionalized as "The Unsinkable Molly Brown". She accompanied the Astors to Egypt and France and, by coincidence, was called home to the U.S. at the same time the Astors also found it necessary to abbreviate their touring.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "John Jacob Astor IV", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.