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William Vincent Astor (November 15, 1891 - February 3, 1959) was a businessman and philanthropist and a member of the prominent Astor family.

Called Vincent, he was born in the Fifth Avenue mansion where his grandmother Caroline Astor reigned over American society. He was the son of John Jacob Astor IV, millionaire and inventor, and his first wife, Ava Lowle Willing, a famously beautiful and spoiled heiress from Philadelphia.

Vincent endured a difficult childhood. His vain mother was embarrassed by his resemblance to his father and would humiliate him in public. In addition his parents' marriage was less than perfect. Vincent's only sister, Ava Alice Muriel Astor, was reportedly Ava Astor's child by a New York society man named Sidney Hatch—though others argued her biological father was Ava's future second husband, Lord Ribblesdale—while Vincent's father, a friend wrote in a letter to her husband, had numerous affairs and morals shockingly loose for a warden of the Episcopal church. They divorced in 1909 and on September 9, 1911 Jack Astor married Madeleine Talmadge Force, an 18-year-old beauty a year younger than his son. In 1919, Ava married a recently widowed English nobleman, Thomas Lister, Baron of Ribblesdale. While a student at Harvard University in 1912, Vincent inherited an estimated $200 million when his father went down with the Titanic. After his father's death, he quit college to manage his family's vast properties. Astor at the time was called "the richest boy in the world."

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Vincent Astor."
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