Madeleine Talmage <I>Force</I> Dick

Madeleine Talmage Force Dick

Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Death 27 Mar 1940 (aged 46)
Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida, USA
Burial Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Plot Force/Dick/Astor Mausoleum
Memorial ID 197380581 View Source
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Socialite. Madeleine made quite a stir as the second wife of Colonel John Jacob Astor. The union was short-lived as the couple was torn apart by the Titanic disaster of 1912. To escape all of publicity surrounding their nuptials, the Astors went abroad for their honeymoon. They spent time in Egypt and Europe. With Madeleine pregnant with their first child, the couple decided to return to New York on the maiden voyage of the Titanic. They boarded the ship in Cherbourg, France, on April 10, with some of their servants and their dog, Kitty. On the night of April 14, around 11:40 p.m., the Astors were in their suite of rooms when the Titanic struck an iceberg. After investigating the incident, John Jacob Astor had his wife get dressed and join other passengers waiting to get off the sinking vessel. Then he saw to it that Madeleine got on one of the lifeboats and then he helped other women and children get aboard. One of the world’s richest men stayed behind and met his end when the Titanic sank in the early hours of April 15. Madeleine Astor and the other survivors on Lifeboat 4 were rescued and taken aboard the Carpathia. 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. Madeline returned to the surname Dick. She died on March 27, 1940.

Bio by: Bobby Kelley

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