Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor

Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor Biography.com

Royalty, Publisher, Business Leader(1879–1952)
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.

Synopsis

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.

Early Life

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.

Political Career

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.

Death

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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