American Businessman, Disaster Victim. On February 17, 1891, Astor married socialite Ava Lowle Willing. The couple had two children: William Vincent and Ava Alice. John and Ava divorced in November 1909. Compounding the scandal of their divorce was Astor's announcement that he would remarry. At the age of 47, John married 18-year-old socialite, Madeleine Talmage Force. John and Madeleine were married in his mother's ballroom at Beechwood, the family's Newport, Rhode Island, mansion. There was also much controversy over their 29-year age difference. His son Vincent despised Madeleine, yet he served as best man at John and Madeleine's wedding. The couple took an extended honeymoon in Europe and Egypt to wait for the gossip to calm down. The couple were returning to New York on the RMS Titanic when the luxury liner hit an iceberg and sank off the coast of Newfoundland in April 1912. Unable to join his pregnant wife, Madeleine, in the lifeboats, he was last seen on deck. John’s body was recovered a week later, identified by his belongings. John Jacob Astor IV’s funeral was held at Church of the Messiah in Rhinebeck. His body was entombed in the Astor Family Mausoleum at Trinity Church Cemetery. Madeleine his widow gave birth to their son in August, which she named after his late father.
Bio by: Bobby Kelley