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John Jacob Astor

financier , philanthropist

John Jacob Astor, American financier, philanthropist.


Astor, John Jacob was born on June 10, 1822 in New York City. Son of William Backhouse and Margaret (Armstrong) Astor.


Graduate Columbia College, 1839, Harvard Law School, 1842.


Employed in administration of father’s estate, 1843-1861, 65-75. Served as colonel on staff General George B. McClellan, United States Army, 1861-1865. Inherited half of his father’s estate, 1875.

Owned large amounts of real estate, New York City, devoted his financial efforts to increasing these holdings. Director Western Union, several New York City banks. Treasurer Astor Library, New York City.

Contributed large sums to Astor Library, Metropolitan Museum, New York Cancer Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital, Trinity Church, Children’s Aid Society (all New York City).


Married Charlotte Gibbes, 1842, 1 son, William Waldorf.

William Backhouse Astor

Margaret (Armstrong) Astor

Charlotte Gibbes