John Jacob Astor IV

John Jacob Astor IV (1864 - 1912)

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Lt.-Col. John Jacob (John Jacob) Astor IV
Born in Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, New York, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married (to ) in Philadelphia.,
Husband of — married (to ) [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in RMS Titanic, 41.726931° N and -49.948253° W, Atlantic Oceanmap
Profile last modified | Created 4 Feb 2012 | Last significant change: 13 Apr 2018
16:18: Martha Garrett edited the Biography for John Jacob Astor IV. (added webpage- [Thank Martha for this]
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Categories: This Day In History April 15 | 1st Class Passengers on Titanic.

The RMS Titanic.
John Jacob Astor IV was a passenger on the RMS Titanic.
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Discuss: titanic


John Jacob Astor IV was born on July 13, 1864, in Rhinebeck, New York to William Backhouse Astor Jr and Caroline Webster Schermerhorn.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]

John was a Harvard graduate.[3] He traveled abroad for a few years, then returned to the United States to join in managing the family fortune.[3] He dabbled in writing as well as inventing.[3]

John became active in real estate development, building the Astoria section of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in 1897, the Waldorf having been built by his cousin William Waldorf Astor.[3] He built several other notable New York City hotels, notably the St. Regis, which some have said was his greatest achievement.[3]

John also helped during the Spanish-American War, even going so far as to offer the use of his yacht, Nourmahal.[3]

John married Ava Willing May 1, 1891.[3] They had one son and one daughter together, then were divorced in 1909.[3][8][9] He married Madeline Force in 1911.[3]

The couple decided to travel the world a bit while the gossip died down concerning their married (she was a year younger than John's son from his first marriage, Vincent).[3] It was their decision to journey home on the Titanic that would prove John's demise.[3]

When the Titanic hit the ice, John went to investigate and came back to calm his wife.[3] While lounging and waiting for action, John had cut into his life belt to show Madeline what it was made of-a decision that also affected his survival.[3]

John Jacob Astor drowned in the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912 after making sure his pregnant wife got in one of the lifeboats.[3] He tried to join her, but could not.[3] He said goodbye to her and stood on the deck of the ship as it began to sink. Astor drowned in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912.[3] His body was recovered April 22, 1912.[3] His body was shipped back to New York and he was buried in Trinity Cemetery, New York.[3][10]

Madeleine named their son John Jacob, in tribute to his father.[citation needed]


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No known carriers of John Jacob's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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Images: 5
John Astor
John Astor

John Astor, 1895
John Astor, 1895

New York Herald
New York Herald

Madeleine and John Jacob Astor
Madeleine and John Jacob Astor

John & Madeleine Astor, 1911-1912
John & Madeleine Astor, 1911-1912


On 2 Sep 2017 at 10:02 GMT Alexander McCowan wrote:

John Jacob Astor IV and I are 4th cousins thru James Armstrong

On 25 Apr 2014 at 20:12 GMT Matt Pryber wrote:

According to

John Was born in Rhinebeck, New York on July 13th, 1864. His father was William Astor

John Jacob is 12 degrees from Charles Darwin, 17 degrees from Amelia Earhart, 8 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor and 19 degrees from Gilly Wood on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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