John Jacob Astor IV, US businessman

John Jacob Astor IV, US businessman

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Caption: John Jacob Astor IV (1864-1912), US businessman, inventor, author and soldier, in full dress uniform. Astor, from the wealthy Astor family, served as a lieutenant colonel in the Spanish- American War in 1898. He made his fortune from property, and built New York City's Astoria Hotel. He also wrote the science fiction novel A Journey in Other Worlds (1894), and patented several inventions, including a bicycle brake and a road improver. On 14 April 1912, he and his 18-year-old pregnant second wife were on board RMS Titanic, returning from their honeymoon, when it hit an iceberg and sank. Astor helped his wife into a lifeboat but he himself remained on board. This photograph is from the Bain News Service, one of the USA's earliest news picture libraries.

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