Profile of the Day: John Jacob Astor IV

Posted July 13, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: John Jacob Astor IV

John Jacob Astor IV

Was anyone in your family tree a passenger on the RMS Titanic? On this day in 1864, Titanic passenger John Jacob Astor IV was born in Rhinebeck, New York. At the time of his death on the doomed luxury ship, Astor was considered one of the richest men in the world.

Astor was born into the prominent Astor family. His great grandfather, John Jacob Astor, was a German immigrant and made his fortune by building a fur trading empire. He later shifted his investments to real estate around New York City and became the first multi-millionaire in the United States.

Although John Jacob Astor IV made a name for himself in the real estate business, he was also a writer and inventor. In 1894, he published the science fiction novel, A Journey in Other Worlds, which was about life in the year 2000 on planets Saturn and Jupiter. He also held several patents, including a bicycle brake and an improved the turbine engine.

In April 1912, Astor was returning to New York with his new wife, Madeleine Talmage Force, on board the RMS Titanic. When their marriage was first announced, their 29-year age difference had been a source of major controversy. The couple had been on their honeymoon in Europe and were returning home because Force was pregnant and wanted their child to be born in the U.S. After the ship hit the iceberg, Astor helped his wife onto Lifeboat 4. He would go down with the ship in the early morning on April 15. His body was recovered from the icy waters on April 22 and was identified by his initials sewn into the label of his jacket.

How are you related to John Jacob Astor IV? Explore his family tree and share your connection!

View John Jacob Astor IV’s Geni Profile


Image: Library of Congress

Post written by Amanda

Amanda is the Social Media Coordinator at Geni. If you need any assistance, she will be happy to help!

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