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Madeleine Force Astor married 47-year-old John Jacob Astor in her late teens. The marriage was cut short when he died in the sinking of the Titanic.
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In all, the crew of the Carpathia was able to save 705 people from the Titanic disaster, according to the ship’s captain, Arthur Henry Rostron. That June, Astor had a special luncheon in the captain’s honor at her New York home to thank him for his efforts. The other guests of the intimate event included two other women widowed in the disaster, Mrs. John B. Thayer and Mrs. John Bradley Cumings.
About four months after the disaster,
Astor gave birth to a son, John Jacob Astor, named after the father he would never know. She had received use of an Astor family mansion on Fifth Avenue in New York City and the Beechwood estate as well as a trust fund as part of the terms of her martial agreement. But the agreement called for Astor to lose all rights to these items if she ever remarried.
In 1918, Astor cut her connection to her late husband’s fortune by marrying William K. Dick, a childhood friend and a sugar-refining business heir. The couple had two children together, John and William. This union lasted fifteen years with Astor seeking a quick divorce from Dick in Reno, Nevada, in 1933.
That same year, Astor surprised many by marrying a younger man, a 26-year-old Italian boxer named Enzo Fiermonte. Again she gave her rights to another fortune—her second husband’s—to marry for love. But this relationship proved to be quite volatile. Astor divorced Fiermonte in 1938 on the grounds of extreme cruelty.
Astor died on March 27, 1940, at the age of 47 in Palm Beach, Florida.
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On April 10, 1912, the RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton, England, carrying 2,207 passengers en route to New York. Unfortunately, the ship never made it to its final destination. After on colliding with an iceberg on the night of April 14, 1912, the ship sank in only a few hours.
From "the Unsinkable Molly Brown to the discovery of "the Unknown Child," explore some of the extraordinary stories of survival and tragedy—and view photos and videos—of those who boarded the Titanic.
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Few families in American history have sustained a place for so long in the public eye as the Astors have. For more than 200 years, the Astor name has been synonymous with New York high society. The family's fortune began to grow after John Jacob Astor, a German immigrant, founded the American Fur Company in 1808. Learn more about John Jacob and his descendants, including William Backhouse, William Waldorf, John Jacob IV and John Jacob V, as well as Brooke and Madeleine Force Astor—who scored their own fortunes by marrying into the Astor family—only at Biography.com.
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