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Philanthropist Brooke Astor dies at 105

Aug. 13, 2007 at 8:37 PM

NEW YORK, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Socialite Brooke Astor, the face of philanthropy in New York, died of pneumonia Monday at her Westchester County estate at the age of 105.

Astor, who distributed more than $200 million to various museums, educational institutions, youth services and public housing, made headlines in her latter years in a dispute about care she received from her son, Newsday reported Monday. The matter was settled out-of-court last year when a judge ruled the allegations were unsubstantiated.

Astor had three husbands -- John Dryden Kuser, who became a New Jersey state senator; stockbroker Charles Henry Marshall and multimillionaire Vincent Astor, who when he died left her four homes and $67 million plus an equal amount in the Vincent Astor Foundation, which she controlled.

Between her first and second marriages, she wrote for Vogue magazine and hobnobbed with Jazz Age celebrities such as Noel Coward, Gertrude Lawrence, Arthur Rubenstein, and movie-star sisters Lillian and Dorothy Gish.

Her largesse from the Vincent Astor Foundation ended in 1997, when Astor gave away the last of the foundation's millions and shut it down.

Besides a son, Anthony Marshall, Astor is survived by twin grandsons, Philip and Alec.

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