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The richest couple on the Titanic: Mr. & Mrs. John J. Astor   Leave a comment

Name: Colonel John Jacob Astor & wife Mrs. Madeleine Talmage Astor (née Force)
Born: Wednesday, July   13, 1864 & Monday, June   19, 1893
Age: 47 years 9 months and 2 days & 18 years 9 months and 27 days
Last Residence: in New York City, New York
Occupation: Property Developer / Real Estate
1st Class passenger
First Embarked: Cherbourg on Wednesday, April   10, 1912
Ticket No. 17757 , £247 10s 6d each, or $781.46
Cabin No.: C62/64

Mr.   Astor:
Died in the sinking.
Body recovered by: Mackay-Bennett (No. 124)
Buried: Trinity Cemetery New York City, New York

Mrs.   Astor:

Rescued in lifeboat #4
Disembarked the Carpathia: New York City on Thursday April 18,1912
Died: Wednesday, March 27, 1940
Cause of Death: Heart   Failure / Disease
Buried: New York City, New York

Mr. Astor wrote a novel called “A Journey in Other Worlds” In 1894. He also developed several mechanical devices including a bicycle brake, helped to develop the turbine engine, and invented a pneumatic road-improver. In 1897 he built the Astoria Hotel, New York next to the Waldorf Hotel which had been built by his cousin. The hotel is now known as the Waldorf-Astoria. He also owned two other hotels: the Hotel St. Regis in 1905 and the Knickerbocker in 1906.  It is estimated that he was worth around $5 million at the time of his death, making him the richest man aboard the Titanic.

On May 1, 1891, Mr. Astor was married to Ava and together they had a son and a daughter. In 1909 Mr. Astor and Ava divorced. Two years later he married 18 year old Madeleine Force, who was pregnant with his child at the time. They decided to stay abroad that spring, in order to let the gossip die down in America. Mr. and Mrs. Astor travelled to Egypt & Paris and decided to return home as passengers on the ill-fated Titanic.

Even as the lifeboats were being loaded Astor dismissed the idea of trading the solid decks of the ship for a lifeboat, saying: “We are safer here than in that little boat.” He changed his mind by 1:45 am, when Astor helped his wife onto lifeboat #4 and then asked if he could join her because of her condition. He was told that no men could get on a lifeboat until all the women & children had been loaded. After boat 4 was lowered at 1:55 am, Mr. Astor stood alone on the boat deck of the Titanic. This is the last reported information about Mr. Astor’s condition or whereabouts.

Mr. Astor’s body was recovered on Monday, April 22, by the McKay Bennett ship, which reported the following:


CLOTHING – Blue serge suit; blue handkerchief with “A.V.”; belt with gold buckle; brown boots with red rubber soles; brown flannel shirt; “J.J.A.” on back of collar.

EFFECTS – Gold watch; cuff links, gold with diamond; diamond ring with three stones; £225 in English notes; $2440 in notes; £5 in gold; 7s. in silver; 5 ten franc pieces; gold pencil; pocketbook.


Mr. Astor’s body was delivered to New York City on May 1, 1912. He was buried at the Trinity Cemetery, in New York City.

The richest couple aboard the Titanic

The richest couple aboard the Titanic