Member of the very influent Anglo-American Astor family, well known for its leadership in the financial and political world in the 19th century, Lord John Jacob Astor was the owner of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel built in 1897 on Park Avenue in New York.
Open-minded man, Lord Astor distinguished himself in literature as well as in sciences (patenting a few inventions). In 1898 he became Colonel during the Spanish-American war.
Lord Astor, on holiday in Paris in 1905, visited the Greffühle Comtess who held a literary salon at the 31 Rue d’Astorg, venue for the European aristocracy and Great Spirits of the Belle Epoque. Seduced by this place, he built in 1907 an eponymous mansion house at the 11 Rue d’Astorg, the hotel Royal Astor which will become one century later the hotel Astor Saint-Honoré. Lord Astor was the neighbor of Edmond Rostand, Paul Claudel, Auguste Rodin, Man Ray, Georges Clémenceau and also Raymond Poincaré.
The artistic heritage helps in understanding the enthusiasm of Lord Astor for this place which since then has earned international renown.
In 1911, Lord Astor married Madeleine Talmage Force. On the evening of April 10th 1912, the young spouses boarded in Cherbourg to reach Southampton then New York. Four days later, Lord Astor perished in the Titanic sinking.