Astor, John Jacob

orig. Johann Jakob Astor

born July 17, 1763, Waldorf, Ger.
died March 29, 1848, New York, N.Y., U.S.

German-born U.S. fur magnate and financier.

After emigrating from Germany at age17, he opened a fur-goods shop in New York с 1786. By 1800 he was a leader in the fur trade, and he established the American Fur Co. He controlled the fur trade with China (1800–17) and in the Mississippi and Missouri valleys (in the 1820s) before selling his interests in 1834. His investment in New York City real estate became the foundation of the family fortune. At his death, Astor was the wealthiest person in the U.S.; he willed $400,000 to found what became the New York Public Library. His son, William B. Astor (1792–1875), greatly expanded the family real-estate holdings, building more than 700 stores and dwellings in the city.

John Jacob Astor, detail of an oil painting by Gilbert Stuart, 1794; in the Brook Club, New York.

Courtesy of the Frick Art Reference Library

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▪ American businessman [1763-1848]
born July 17, 1763, Waldorf, Ger.
died March 29, 1848, New York City
 fur magnate and founder of a renowned family of Anglo-American capitalists, business leaders, and philanthropists. His American Fur Company is considered the first U.S. business monopoly.

      Astor started a fur-goods shop in New York City about 1786 after learning about the fur trade while aboard the ship that brought him to the U.S. Benefitting from the Jay Treaty between England and the U.S. (1794) that opened up new markets in Canada and the Great Lakes region, and from shrewd dealings with Indian tribes, he had by 1800 amassed $250,000 and become the leading figure in the fur trade. Given permission to trade in ports monopolized by the British East India Company, he made lucrative fur transactions in China (1800–17), but his plan to establish a network of fur-trading posts around Astoria (now in Oregon) failed when the British captured the post during the War of 1812.

      At the same time, however, Astor invested in New York City real estate that became the foundation of the family fortune. His son, William Backhouse Astor (1792–1875), greatly expanded the family real estate holdings, building more than 700 stores and dwellings in New York City. The wealthiest person in the U.S. at the time of his death, the senior Astor bequeathed $400,000 for the founding of a public library, the Astor Library, in New York City, which was consolidated with others as the New York Public Library in 1895.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Astor, John Jacob — orig Johann Jakob Astor (17 jul. 1763, Waldorf, Alemania–29 mar. 1848, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.). Magnate peletero y financista estadounidense nacido en Alemania. Emigró de Alemania a los 17 años de edad y abrió en Nueva York una tienda de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Astor,John Jacob — As·tor (ăsʹtər), John Jacob. 1763 1848. German born American fur trader and capitalist who became the wealthiest man of his time in the United States. * * * …   Universalium

  • Astor, John Jacob — (1763 1848)    Founder of Astor Fur Company.    Index: Bk Sends news of declaration of war in 1812, 204.    Bib.: Bryce, Hudson s Bay Company; Cyc. Am. Biog …   The makers of Canada

  • ASTOR, JOHN JACOB —    a millionaire, son of a German peasant, who made a fortune of four millions in America by trading in furs (1763 1848). His son doubled his fortune; known as the landlord of New York (1792 1875) …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Astor, John Jacob Astor, 1st Baron — ▪ British journalist [1886 1971] born May 20, 1886, New York, New York, U.S. died July 19, 1971, Cannes, France  British journalist and great great grandson of the U.S. fur magnate John Jacob Astor (Astor, John Jacob); as chief proprietor of The… …   Universalium

  • John Jacob Astor VI — John Jacob Astor VI[1] (14 août 1912 26 juin 1992) est un membre de la prestigieuse famille Astor. Il est le fils posthume du milliardaire John Jacob Astor IV et de sa jeune épouse Madeleine. Il naît en effet quatre mois après la mort de son père …   Wikipédia en Français

  • John Jacob Astor — John Jacob Astor. John Jacob Astor, de nacimiento Johann Jakob Astor (17 de julio de 1763, Walldorf, Alemania 29 de marzo de 1848, Nueva York, Estados Unidos) fue el primer millonario de los EE. UU., siendo de origen alemán. Fue el creador del… …   Wikipedia Español

  • John Jacob Astor IV — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Astor. John Jacob Astor IV …   Wikipédia en Français

  • John Jacob Astor — Johann Jacob Astor, Detail eines Ölgemäldes von Gilbert Stuart, 1794 Johann Jakob Astor (* 17. Juli 1763 in Walldorf bei Heidelberg; † 29. März 1848[1]in New York City) war ein deutscher Emigrant, der …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Jacob Astor — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Astor. John Jacob Astor …   Wikipédia en Français

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