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William Waldorf Astor & Family
William Waldorf Astor
William Waldorf Astor
John Jacob Astor III
John Jacob Astor III
The only child of John Jacob Astor III and Charlotte Augusta Gibbes, William Waldorf Astor inherited a personal fortune upon his father's death that made him the richest man in America.  In 1893, William opened the 13-story Waldorf Hotel on the site of his Fifth Avenue Mansion.  Four years later, his cousin, John Jacob Astor IV, built the 17-story Astoria Hotel adjacent to the Waldorf, with a 300-foot-long marble corridor adjoining the two hotels.  They later combined to form the world-famous Waldorf-Astoria.  (It's now part of the Hilton chain, meaning that it's owned by Paris Hilton's dad.)

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