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Biography of John Jacob Astor


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Astor, John Jacob, capitalist, born in Rhinebeck, NY, July 13, 1864. Son of William, grandson of William B., and great-grandson of John Jacob Astor. B.S. Harvard, 1888. Traveled abroad, 1888-91; 1891-1912 manager of the family estates. Built Astoria Hotel (1897), NY, adjoining Waldorf Hotel, which was built by William Waldorf Astor, his cousin, the two now forming one building under the name of Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, one of the largest and probably most costly hotels in the world. Was colonel, staff of Governor Levi P. Morton, and in May, 1898, commissioned lieutenant-colonel of United States Volunteers. Presented to the government a mountain battery for use in war against Spain, said to have cost over $100,000. After assisting Major-General Breckinridge, Inspector-General USA, in inspection of camp and troops at Chickamauga Park, GA, assigned to duty on staff of Major-General Shafter, and served in Cuba in operations ending in surrender of Santiago. Invented a bicycle brake, a pneumatic road improver, and an improved turbine engine. Author: "A Journey in Other Worlds," etc. Died, 1912.