Astor, Brooke

Astor, Brooke (b. Roberta Brooke Russell)

(?1902–  ) socialite, philanthropist, author; born in Portsmouth, N.H. Largely self-educated, she was a magazine journalist and the author of four books. She married three times (once divorced, twice widowed). Her third husband, Vincent Astor, left her with a fortune that allowed her to become a philanthropist of major proportions. She awarded an average of 100 grants a year ($9 million a year) to civic projects, social projects, and cultural institutions in New York City. She also served on numerous boards, including as trustee of the New York Public Library, one of her major beneficiaries. In her later years, she became the most sought-after guest at New York's charitable and stylish occasions.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.