Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Astor, William Waldorf
ASTOR, WILLIAM WALDORF, capitalist, born in New York City, March 31, 1848; received a private education; was admitted to the bar in 1875. He was elected to the New York Assembly in 1871, and to the Senate in 1879; was defeated for Congress in 1881, and was United States Minister to Italy in 1882-1885. On the death of his father, John Jacob Astor, in 1890, he became the head of the Astor family, and inherited a fortune said to aggregate $100,000,000. He removed to England in 1890; became the owner of the “Pall Mall Gazette” and “Pall Mall Magazine”; and was naturalized a British subject on July 1, 1899. He published “Valentino” (1885) and “Sforza” (1889), both romances. He gave considerable sums to English charities and colleges and was made a peer in 1916. Died in London, Oct. 18, 1919.