Miami Herald

Son of Famed Businessman, Inventor

(New York Times News Service)

John Jacob Astor V, a descendant of one of American's most fabled merchant princes, died Friday at his home in Miami Beach. He was 79.

Astor was born in New York. His father was John Jacob Astor IV, a businessman and inventor who built the Astoria Hotel in New York City that was later combined with the hotel next door to become the Waldorf-Astoria.

His mother was the former Madeline Talmage Force of New York City. She was pregnant with him when she and her husband sailed on the Titanic. Her husband put her on a lifeboat and went down with the ship on the night of April 14-15, 1912.

His cousin, Stephen Spencer, said John Jacob Astor V never worked after he was dismissed from a job he held briefly after graduating from St. George's School in Newport, R.I., in the early 1930's.

Astor was married three times and divorced twice. His third wife, Sue Sandford, died several years ago. Survivors include a son, William; a daughter, Jacqueline Drexler; a brother, John H. Dick; and three grandchildren.

[Note: The obituary lists his daughter as Jacqueline Drexler, however, her married name is actually Drexel. She and her son Astor M. Drexel still live in Manhattan. His half-brother, John H. Dick, lived in suburban Charleston, South Carolina.]

Related Biographies:

John Jacob Astor

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