- NAME: Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor
- OCCUPATION: Business Leader, Political Leader, Royalty, Publisher
- BIRTH DATE: May 19, 1879
- DEATH DATE: September 30, 1952
- EDUCATION: Oxford University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: New York, New York
- PLACE OF DEATH: Buckinghamshire, England
- Full Name: William Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor
- Nickname: Waldorf Astor
Best Known For
Politician and publisher Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor became a member of Parliament and was the publisher of the London Observer from 1915 to 1945.
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Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor, was born in 1879 in New York City. Part of one of the wealthiest and prominent U.S. families, he moved to England in 1890. He later became a member of Parliament. Like his father, he became involved in the media industry, working as the publisher of the London Observer from 1915 to 1945. As the eldest son, he received the title of viscount when his father died.
Politician and publisher William Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor was born on May 19, 1879, in New York, New York. Part of one of the wealthiest and prominent families in the United States, Astor moved to England at age of 11 with his family in 1890. He attended Oxford University, where he received a degree in history.
A staunch supporter of the Conservative Party, Astor later became a member of Parliament. Like his father, Astor became involved in the media industry, working as the publisher of the London Observer from 1915 to 1945. As the eldest son, he received the title of viscount when his father died in 1919.
Because of his title, Astor had to step down from the House of Commons. He was succeeded by his wife Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor, who became the first woman to serve in Parliament. Both he and his wife were supporters of the appeasement policy toward Germany during the 1930s. This policy attempted to maintain peace by negotiating with German leader Adolf Hitler, but it eventually failed.
Astor had even more influence in the British social world. He and his wife were considered by the country's social elite. They entertained numerous dignities and other prominent citizens at their estate, Cliveden.
Astor died on September 30, 1952, at Cliveden. Married to his wife Nancy since 1906, the couple had one daughter, Phyllis (also known as "Wissie"), and four sons, William Waldorf, Francis David, Michael Langhorne and John Jacob, who was the seventh member of the Astor family to bear those famous first and middle names.
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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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