John Jacob Astor (1864-1912)
John Jacob Astor was an American man of many professions: businessman, real estate builder, investor, inventor, writer and lieutenant colonel in the Spanish-American war. He was born in Rhinebeck, New York and attended St Paul's school in Concord, New Hampshire, and later Harvard University. Astor patented several inventions, including a bicycle brake, a storage battery, a pneumatic road-improver and he helped develop a turbine engine. His fascination with science led him to begin writing his only novel, A Journey in Other Worlds, at the age of 28. He lost his life in the sinking of the RMS Titanic, after helping his pregnant wife into a lifeboat.