The New International Encyclopædia/Astor, William Waldorf
ASTOR, William Waldorf (1848—). The great-grandson of John Jacob Astor. He was born in New York City, and studied law in order to qualify himself for assuming the management of the Astor estate. He was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1877, and to the Senate in 1879. In 1881 he was defeated by Roswell P. Flower as a candidate for Congress. He was appointed by President Arthur minister to Italy in 1882, a post which he held till March 1, 1885. As a result of studies made at Rome, he published two romances: Valentino (1885) and Sforza (1889). On the death of his father he became the head of the family and the inheritor of the estate, estimated at $200,000,000, largely invested in real estate. He soon built two magnificent hotels, the New Netherland and the Waldorf. In 1890 he went to London to live, and in 1899 became a British subject. He bought the Pall Mall Gazette in 1893, and founded the Pall Mall Magazine.