John Jacob Astor V Biography

Royalty, Publisher(c. 1886–1971)
John Jacob Astor V, the fifth member of the American Astor family to bear the name John Jacob, became owner and chairman of The Times of London in 1922.

Synopsis

John Jacob Astor V was born on May 20, 1886, in New York City. In 1922, he became chairman and owner of The Times of London. He remained chairman until 1959, when his eldest son took over the position for him. Astor was also active in politics, serving as a conservative member of the English Parliament from 1922 to 1945. He died in 1971.

Born into an American Dynasty

Born in New York City on May 20, 1886, John Jacob Astor V was born into the prestigious Astor family, the American financial dynasty that began with German entrepreneur John Jacob Astor, John Jacob V's great-great-grandfather.

The fifth member of the family to bear the illustrious name John Jacob and the son of William Waldorf Astor, Astor spent much of his life in England and was educated at Eton College, a private school for boys, before enrolling at Oxford University. In 1916, he married Lady Violet Eliiott. The couple would have three sons together: Gavin, Hugh and John.

War Hero and Newspaper Owner

At the beginning of World War I, John Jacob Astor V joined the military and was twice injured in battle. Not only was Astor a distinguished war hero, he became baron, inheriting the title from his father at the time of his death in 1919.

In 1922, John Jacob Astor, 1st Baron Astor of Hever, became chairman and owner of one of the world's most prestigious newspapers, The Times of London. He believed in maintaining high standards for his publication and was supportive of his staff. He remained chairman until 1959, when his eldest son, Gavin Astor, took over the position for him. Astor was also active in politics, serving as a conservative member of the English Parliament from 1922 to 1945.

Final Years

John Jacob Astor V left his beloved England in 1962, settling in France. It is said that he moved to avoid inheritance taxes. He died on July 19, 1971, in Cannes, France.

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