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John Jacob Astor

John Jacob Astor portrait by [[John Wesley Jarvis]], circa 1825 John Jacob Astor (born Johann Jakob Astor; July 17, 1763 – March 29, 1848) was a German–American businessman, merchant, real estate mogul and investor who mainly made his fortune in fur trade and by investing in real estate in or around New York City.

Born in Germany, Astor immigrated to England as a teenager and worked as a musical instrument manufacturer. He moved to the United States after the American Revolutionary War. He entered the fur trade and built a monopoly, managing a business empire that extended to the Great Lakes region and Canada, and later expanded into the American West and Pacific coast. Seeing the decline of demand, he got out of the fur trade in 1830, diversifying by investing in New York City real estate and later becoming a famed patron of the arts.

He was the first prominent member of the Astor family and the first multi-millionaire in the United States.

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