Astor, Waldorf Astor, Viscount, 1879-1952

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Waldorf Astor, second Viscount Astor, was born in New York City on May 19, 1879, the elder son of William Waldorf Astor and Mary Dahlgren Paul. He was educated at Eton College and at New College, Oxford. In 1906 he married the American divorcee, Mrs. Nancy Langhorne Shaw. Pursuing a career in politics, he won a seat in Parliament as a Unionist member for Plymouth, Devon, in 1911. Upon the death of his father in 1919 he was forced to accept the title of viscount and resign from the House of Commons in order to take his seat in the House of Lords. With her husband's support, Nancy Astor ran as a Conservative for his seat in Commons. Upon her election, she not only became the first woman to take a seat in Parliament but also launched a career in politics that would last until her retirement in 1945. Though his political career was overshadowed by that of his wife, Waldorf Astor continued to be active in politics. In 1931 he was a delegate to the League of Nations assembly. In addition to serving as lord mayor of Plymouth, 1939-44, he was chairman of the Royal Institute of International Affairs from 1935 to 1949. From 1911, when his father purchased controlling interest for him, until his death, Waldorf Astor published the influential Sunday newspaper "The observer". He also actively pursued his interests in agriculture, co-authoring several books on the subject, and in the development of his racing stud, his horses winning numerous important races. Waldorf Astor died at his home, Cliveden, on Sept. 30, 1952.

From the description of The journal of Waldorf Astor, 1901 May-July. (Georgetown University). WorldCat record id: 71337485

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Papers of Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor, 1893-1952 Reading University : Special Collections Services
creatorOf Astor, Waldorf Astor, Viscount, 1879-1952. The journal of Waldorf Astor, 1901 May-July. Georgetown University, Joseph Mark Lauinger Memorial Library
creatorOf Astor family. Papers, 1807-1919. New-York Historical Society Library
referencedIn Autograph collection, 1816-1917, 1816-1917 American Philosophical Society
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Astor family. family
associatedWith Moore, E. M., collector. person
associatedWith University of Oxford. corporateBody
associatedWith Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor person
Place Name Admin Code Country


Birth 1879-05-19

Death 1952-09-30



Ark ID: w6cg3k7c

SNAC ID: 68344613