John Jacob Astor VI
- Category : 1912-births
- Type : GP
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Split - Small (10,34)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Explanation 3
American great grandson of the founder of the Astor family fortune. After graduating Harvard, he managed real estate, wrote a sci-fi novel and invented various devices, including a marine turbine and a bicycle brake. During the Spanish-American War, he financed his own Army battalion out of his $87 million fortune.
Astor's first marriage, to Ava Willing, lasted ten years and produced two kids. His second marriage, to Madeleine Force in 1911, caused a scandal. She was 18 at the time and he, 46. To escape wagging tongues, they took an extended cruise on the magnificent ship, the Titanic. They boarded at Cherbourg with an entourage that included a manservant, a maid, a nurse and his Airedale. First-class staterooms like theirs, with richly paneled suites containing working fireplaces and separate quarters for their servants, cost as much as $4,000 for the voyage, equivalent to a staggering $50,000 in the '90s. Madeleine was five months pregnant by then and they wanted their baby to be born in the U.S.
When the fabled ship hit an iceberg, 4/14/1912, Madeleine was put into a lifeboat. When Astor was turned away, as a gentleman, he stepped back, lit a cigarette and tossed his gloves to his wife.
Several days later his partly crushed, soot-stained body was found floating in the Atlantic with $2,500 in a pocket. Experts believe Astor may have been hit by a falling smokestack.