Vincent Astor
Library of Congress Archive,
Courtesy of Greg Powers, 8-2-06

via email from Nick Wantiez, 4/22/02
Dear Ralph,
     Vincent Aster was the son of John Jacob Aster who died on the Titanic. As you probably know, John Jacob Aster was America's wealthiest man in 1912 being worth about $150 million.
      Vincent was an unofficial advisor to Franklin D Roosevelt during the 1930s and 40s even serving to gather intelligence for him.
      John Jacob was vitally interested in aviation from the earliest days and was a member of the Aero Club of America. He appears in several photographs taken at dinners in the early 1900s honoring the Wrights and Glenn Curtiss.      Vincent lived in New York City but also had an estate in Bermuda complete with a miniature steam railroad for transportation. I imagine he was involved in financing the aircraft industry especially after WWI when commercial air transportation became a reality.
Best regards,
Nick Wantiez

Vincent Astor
Vincent Astor
Library of Congress Archive,
Courtesy of Greg Powers, 8-2-06

via email from Pamela E. Mathews, 3-28-11
Hey Ralph:
     I don't know how this can be corroborated, aside from DNA evidence, but my husband's grandmother, Lulu Smith-Mathews, had a child, Albert Vincent Mathews, who was Vincent Astor's son. He was born in 1936, while Vincent Astor was married. He was supposedly sterile because of mumps, but even Wikipedia says his wife was a lesbian. Some accounts say Astor died of a heart ailment and some say
'a neuromuscular disease'.
     My father-in-law 'Vince' had myotonic muscular dystrophy which is an inherited disease. Neither of his parents had the disease. My father-in-law was introduced to Astor as 'his uncle Vincent'. Mr. Astor paid for his education at a private Catholic military school in St. Louis. Interestingly my father-in-law looks SO much like Astor. Apparently he was teased a lot because of his appearance. So was my father-in-law. Myotonic muscular dystrophy has a few hallmark features..... a high forehead, skinny limbs, droopy eyes and lips, to name a few.
     My father-in-law's mother was a widow with a young daughter when she met Astor. Her father was a physician. We (the family, including my father-in-law) believe that John Mathews married Lulu to save her from disgrace as was the custom in those days. It's sad that protecting her honor resulted in Mr. Astor's not being able to acknowledge his only son. But that's the way they rolled in those days. My father-in-law died in 2002. He is survived by 3 children, 7 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren.
Just thought you'd get a kick out of that.
Pamela E. Mathews

If you use the Google search engine on "Vincent Astor," you will find about 1140 links. If you refine the search by using "Vincent Astor +aviation," you will find about 30 links. However, none of them are very helpful for learning much about his career in aviation.

Vincent Astor died in 1959
From The Early Birds of Aviation
Roster of Members
January 1, 1993

Editor's Note:
If you have any information on this Early Bird,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

BackNext Home