John Jacob Astor, in the Titanic's First class dining area

John Jacob Astor IV (July 13, 1864 – April 15, 1912) was an American real estate developer and the richest person on the RMS Titanic. Astor perished when the ship sank on her maiden voyage.

History[edit | edit source]

Astor was a member of the prominent Astor family, and had served as lieutenant colonel in the 1898 Spanish-American War.

In April 1912, Astor boarded the RMS Titanic with his second wife Madeleine Talmage Force. Many disapproved of J.J.'s marriage to Madeleine not only because she was 18 and he was a 47 year old man when they wed, but because he had only divorced his first wife, Ava Lowle Willing, two years earlier. When Molly Brown boarded the RMS Titanic, Astor was in the elevator and they waved at each other. During the dining scene, he was introduced to Jack Dawson. Since Jack looked rich, Astor asked him if he belonged to the Boston Dawsons. Jack politely replied "No, the Chippewa Falls Dawsons, actually".

He took a seat next to his wife and later on went to have brandy with the rest of the gentlemen in the smoking room.

On the night of 14 April the Titanic struck an iceberg and began to sink, and the crew made to evacuate the ship. During the sinking Astor let his wife go in Lifeboat 6 and stayed on the ship to look for his dog, then seeing that all hope was lost, he stayed in the flooding Grand Staircase. Astor is last seen holding onto a post near the Grand Staircase's just as the dome breaks above, flooding the entire room. What action he took in the moments after, if any, is not revealed. With no further details about the moments after, many viewers conclude this is meant to be Astor's death. Later, he is seen in the Dream Scene and is one of the closest to Rose.


Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

He was portrayed by Eric Braeden, who was cast in the role for his strong resemblance to Astor.

Though many viewers assume that the implosion of the dome over the Grand Staircase caused Astor's death, the film does not show Astor being overcome or dying.  

External Links[edit | edit source]

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