American Dynasties

Season 1 Episode 1

The Astors: High Society

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The Astors: High Society
Few families in American history have sustained a place for so long in the public eye. For over two hundred years the Astor name has been synonymous with New York high society. The saga is one of wealth, tragedy, family fueds, and philanthropy. It is a saga that continues today. In the process they became one of the richest families in history. "The Astors: High Society" tells the story of five generations. John Jacob Astor was first born in Waldorf, Germany in 1763. When he arrived in America he got a job in a warehouse beating dust and bugs from bundles of furs. He was quickly promoted in the fur business and became a fur trader. Astor became quite successful and with his new bride's dowry set up his own fur trading business. He made so much money with his fur company that he invested in shipping and real estate. Real estate soon became his primary interest. Astor bought cheap farmland in New York. One such purchase eventually became Times Square. Astor amassed a large amount of property and an even larger fortune. He became the richest man in the world.moreless
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