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|John Jacob Astor, Sr|
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Added by: Eric K. Washington
|On October 29, 2012, the obelisk marking the grave of the original John Jacob Astor (July 17, 1763 – March 29, 1848), was crushed by falling oak tree in Trinity Church Cemetery & Mausoleum during Hurricane Sandy.|
Millionaire and philanthropist, John Jacob Astor was born in Waldorf, Germany, on July 17, 1763. He was the patriarch of the illustrious family whose name personifies American prosperity to this day. Real estate accounted for Astor's most stupendous fortune and fame. When he died on March 29, 1848, his worth of over $30,000,000 made him the richest man in the country. Astor's will endowed $400,000 to establish a free circulating library, which evolved into today's New York Public Library.
Burial records indicate that on July 20, 1851--three years after his death-- John Jacob Astor was among 15 members of the Astor family who were removed from the St. Thomas's and St. Marks churches to be reinterred in the family vault in Trinity Church Cemetery. This cemetery, located in Washington Heights, is a separate ground from the older and much smaller Trinity Churchyard with which it is often confused.
Note the words "Astor Vault" embossed on the side of the fallen marker.
Photo & caption: Eric K. Washington