Astor, William Backhouse

Astor, William Backhouse,

1792–1875, American financier, b. New York City; son of John Jacob AstorAstor, John Jacob
, 1763–1848, American merchant, b. Walldorf, near Heidelberg, Germany. At the age of 16 he went to England, and five years later, in 1784, he arrived in Baltimore, penniless.
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 (1763–1848). Educated in Germany, he was associated with his father in business after 1818. Later called the landlord of New York, he also inherited money from his uncle Henry Astor and left an immense fortune.

Astor, William Backhouse,

1829–92, American financier and sportsman, b. New York City. The son of William Backhouse AstorAstor, William Backhouse,
1792–1875, American financier, b. New York City; son of John Jacob Astor (1763–1848). Educated in Germany, he was associated with his father in business after 1818.
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 (1792–1875), he was a retiring man, notable principally for his wealth and for his marriage to Caroline Schermerhorn. With the assistance of Ward McAlister, she became famous as the Mrs. Astor of modern folklore, queen of New York City society's legendary Four Hundred. Their son was John Jacob AstorAstor, John Jacob,
1864–1912, American financier, b. Rhinebeck, N.Y.; son of William Backhouse Astor (1829–92). He served in the Spanish-American War. Drowned in the Titanic
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 (1864–1912).
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Astor, William Backhouse

(1792–1875) financier; born in New York City (son of John Jacob Astor, 1763–1848). He worked as a clerk for his father, and upon the latter's death, he became the richest man in the U.S.A. He continued the family practice of dealing in New York City real estate and was known as the "landlord of New York." He added to his father's bequest to the Astor Library, which was later absorbed into the main branch of the New York Public Library.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.