John Jacob Astor III
|Died||February 22, 1890 67) (aged|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Resting place||Trinity Church Cemetery, New York City, New York, U.S.|
|Alma mater|| Columbia University |
University of Göttingen
Harvard Law School
|Spouse(s)||Charlotte Augusta Gibbes|
(m. 1846–1887; her death)
|Children||William Waldorf Astor|
|Parent(s)|| William Backhouse Astor Sr. |
Margaret Alida Rebecca Armstrong
|Relatives||See Astor family|
John Jacob Astor III(June 10, 1822 – February 22, 1890) was an American financier, philanthropist and a soldier during the American Civil War. He was a prominent member of the Astor family, becoming the wealthiest member in his generation and the founder of the English branch of the family.
Astor was the eldest son of real estate businessman William Backhouse Astor Sr. and Margaret Alida Rebecca Armstrong. His younger brother, businessman William Backhouse Astor Jr., became the patriarch of the male line of American Astors.
His paternal grandparents were fur-trader John Jacob Astor and Sarah Cox Todd. Astor's maternal grandparents were Senator John Armstrong Jr. and Alida Livingston of the Livingston family.
John Astor III studied at Columbia College, graduating in 1839, and the University of Göttingen, following which he went to Harvard Law School, graduating in 1842.He practiced law for a year, to qualify for assisting in the management of his family's immense estate, one half of which later descended to him. It was based on his paternal grandfather's achieving a monopoly in the lucrative fur trade in the early nineteenth century.
In business, Astor dabbled in railroad investment, but was outsmarted by Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt and forced to yield control of the original New York Central Railroad line (from Albany to Buffalo) to him. His principal business interest was the vast Astor Estate real estate holdings in New York City, which he managed profitably and parsimoniously.
Astor was elected lieutenant colonel of the 12th Regiment of the New York Militia. He resigned from the office in 1853.
During the American Civil War, Astor served as a volunteer aide-de-camp, with the rank of colonel, to Major General George B. McClellan (then commanding general of the U.S. Army) from November 30, 1861, to July 11, 1862. In recognition of his services during the Peninsular Campaign, Astor was brevetted as a brigadier general of Volunteers in March 1865.
In 1880 he became a companion of the New York Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States—a military society of officers who had served in the Union armed forces. He was assigned insignia number 1909.
He regarded his Civil War service as the best of his life and attended the reunions of the Loyal Legion with zeal.
Astor donated objects and funds to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (in 1887 he presented it with his wife's collection of valuable laces and left a bequest of $50,000). He and his brother presented Trinity Church with a memorial to their father: a sculptured reredos and altar costing $80,000. He left a bequest of $450,000 to the Astor Library,bringing the family benefactions to the institution to a total of about $1,500,000. He also gave generously to the New York Cancer Hospital ($100,000 bequest), the Woman's Hospital, St. Luke's Hospital ($100,000 bequest) and the Children's Aid Society.
He took an active interest in the Astor Library beyond funding. He was treasurer of its board of trustees, and in 1879 deeded to it the three lots on which the northern wing of the present building was later constructed by him. He presented it with his collection of early books and rare manuscripts.
His deeply religious wife Charlotte supported the newly formed Children's Aid Society and sat on the board of the Women's Hospital of New York, an institution that to her dismay refused to accept cancer patients. She persuaded her husband to donate the money ($225,000) to erect the New York Cancer Hospital's first wing, the "Astor Pavilion." For twenty years, she supported a German industrial school. From 1872 until her death, she was a manager of the Woman's Hospital, besides taking an active part in the Niobrara League to aid the Indians and in many other charities. She bequeathed $150,000 to charitable organizations.
On December 9, 1846, Astor was married at Trinity Church in New York City to Charlotte Augusta Gibbes (February 27, 1825 – December 12, 1887). Her parents were Thomas Stanyarne Gibbes Jr. and Susan Annette Vanden Heuvel.She was a descendent of Charles Apthorp, Jan Cornelius Van den Heuvel, and SC Governor Robert Gibbes. Together, they had one child, William Waldorf Astor in 1848, who later became the 1st Viscount Astor, who married Mary Dahlgren Paul.
In 1859, he built a home at 338 Fifth Avenue, today the street address of the Empire State Building. Later, he had an imposing vacation home, Beaulieu, built in Newport, Rhode Island, and he had a country estate, Nuits, at Ardsley-on-Hudson in Irvington, New York. Astor increasingly visited London in his later years. His son moved there permanently with his family in 1891 and became a British citizen in 1899 later being made Lord Astor.
John Jacob Astor III died on February 22, 1890 and was interred in the Trinity Church Cemetery in Manhattan.
John Jacob Astor was a German-American businessman, merchant, real estate mogul, and investor who made his fortune mainly in a fur trade monopoly, by smuggling opium into China, and by investing in real estate in or around New York City. He was the first prominent member of the Astor family and the first multi-millionaire in the United States.
John Jacob Astor IV was an American business magnate, real estate developer, investor, writer, lieutenant colonel in the Spanish–American War, and a prominent member of the Astor family. He died in the sinking of the RMS Titanic during the early hours of April 15, 1912. Astor was the richest passenger aboard the RMS Titanic and was thought to be among the richest people in the world at that time, with a net worth of roughly $87 million when he died.
William Backhouse Astor Sr. was an American business magnate who inherited most of his father John Jacob Astor's fortune. He worked as a partner in his father's successful export business. His massive investment in Manhattan real estate enabled major donations to the Astor Library in the East Village, which became the New York Public Library.
Caroline Webster "Lina" SchermerhornAstor was a prominent American socialite of the second half of the 19th century who led the Four Hundred. Famous for being referred to later in life as "the Mrs. Astor" or simply "Mrs. Astor", she was the wife of businessman, racehorse breeder/owner, and yachtsman William Backhouse Astor Jr. She was the mother of five children, including Colonel John Jacob Astor IV, who perished on the RMS Titanic. Through her marriage, she was a prominent member of the Astor family and matriarch of the male line of American Astors.
The Astor family achieved prominence in business, society, and politics in the United States and the United Kingdom during the 19th and 20th centuries. With ancestral roots in the Italian Alps region of Italy by way of Germany, the Astors settled in Germany, first appearing in North America in the 18th century with John Jacob Astor, one of the wealthiest people in history.
William Waldorf "Willy" Astor, 1st Viscount Astor was an American-British attorney, politician, businessman, and philanthropist. Astor was a scion of the very wealthy Astor family of New York City. He moved to Britain in 1891, became a British subject in 1899, and was made a peer as Baron Astor in 1916 and Viscount Astor in 1917 for his contributions to war charities.
Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor, DL was an American-born English politician and newspaper proprietor. He was a member of the Astor family. He was active in minor political roles. He was devoted to charitable projects, and with his more famous wife Nancy became a prominent fixture in upper class English society.
John Jacob Astor VI was an American socialite, shipping businessman, and member of the Astor family. He was dubbed the "Titanic Baby" for his affiliation with the RMS Titanic; Astor was born four months after his father, Colonel John Jacob Astor IV, died in the sinking of the Titanic; his pregnant mother Madeleine Astor survived the sinking.
The Astor Library was a free public library in the East Village, Manhattan, developed primarily through the collaboration of New York City merchant John Jacob Astor and New England educator and bibliographer Joseph Cogswell. It was primarily meant as a research library, and its books did not circulate. It opened to the public in 1854, and in 1895 consolidated with the Lenox Library and the Tilden Foundation to become the New York Public Library (NYPL). During this time, its building was expanded twice, in 1859, and 1881.
Ava Lowle Willing was an American socialite. She was the first wife of Colonel John Jacob Astor IV and later married Thomas Lister, 4th Baron Ribblesdale.
John Winthrop Chanler was a prominent New York lawyer and a U.S. Representative from New York. He was a member of the Dudley–Winthrop family and married Margaret Astor Ward, a member of the Astor family.
The Peithologian Society was an undergraduate debate society at Columbia University. It was founded in 1806, four years after Columbia's first literary society, the Philolexian Society, by freshmen who were disenfranchised by Philolexian's requirement that its members be upperclassmen. Its emphasis on debate, composition, and rhetoric was similar to Philo's literary aims, and the two societies shared other superficial characteristics as well. Philo adopted light blue as its official color, while Peithologian adopted white. Whereas Philolexian's symbol was a rising sun, Peithologian's was a star. Its Latin motto was "Vitam Impendere Vero" meaning, roughly, "To devote one's life to truth."
The Apthorp Farm that lay on Manhattan's Upper West Side straddled the old Bloomingdale Road, laid out in 1728, which was re-surveyed as The "Boulevard" – now Upper Broadway. It was the largest block of real estate remaining from the "Bloomingdale District", a rural suburb of 18th-century New York City. Legal disputes between the eventual heirs of the Loyalist Charles Ward Apthorp and purchasers of parcels of real estate held in abeyance the speculative development of the area between 89th and 99th Streets, from Central Park to the Hudson River until final judgment was awarded in July 1910; at that time the New York Times estimated its worth at $125,000,000.
William Backhouse Astor Jr. was an American businessman, racehorse owner/breeder, and yachtsman who was a member of the prominent Astor family. His elder brother, financier and philanthropist John Jacob Astor III, became head of the British line of Astors in England. William Jr. was head of the American line of Astors, while his wife, Caroline Schermerhorn, served as the leader of New York society's "Four Hundred" during the Gilded Age.
Beaulieu, or Beaulieu House, is a historic mansion located on Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island built in 1859 by Federico Barreda. Subsequent owners of Beaulieu have included John Jacob Astor III, Cornelius Vanderbilt III, and his wife Grace Vanderbilt, née Grace Graham Wilson.
Astor is a German surname. Notable people with the surname include:
DeLancey Astor Kane was an American soldier and horseman who was prominent in New York Society during the Gilded Age. He was called the "father of coaching in the United States."
Marshall Orme Wilson was an American banker and prominent member of New York Society during the Gilded Age.
Caroline Schermerhorn Astor Wilson was an American heiress, social leader, and prominent member of New York society.
Ferncliff Farm was an estate established in the mid 19th century by William Backhouse Astor Jr. (1829–1892) in Rhinebeck, New York. Not far from his mother's estate of Rokeby, where he had spent summers, Ferncliff was a working farm with dairy and poultry operations, as well as stables where he bred horses. In 1902, his son and heir John Jacob Astor IV commissioned Stanford White to design a large sports pavilion, which included one of the first indoor pools in the United States. The sports pavilion was later converted into a residence for his son, Vincent Astor.
Viscount Astor died yesterday morning. His death, which was from heart disease, was unexpected.