today’s birthday: John Jacob Astor (1864)

John Jacob Astor (1864)

Astor was a financier and inventor. A man of many talents, he made a fortune in real estate, built the Astoria Hotel, invented a bicycle brake and a turbine engine, and wrote the science-fiction novel A Journey in Other Worlds about life on the planets Saturn and Jupiter. His second marriage to the much younger Madeleine Talmage Force caused a scandal, and the two took an extended honeymoon abroad to wait out the controversy. On their return trip, Astor was killed in what disaster? More… Discuss

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