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The fabulous life of Brooke Astor, a pioneer of philanthropy and for decades a luminary of New York society. Hers is a story out of Edith Wharton. After a disastrous early marriage, Brooke Astor wedded the notoriously ill-tempered Vincent Astor, who died in 1959. In a highly publicized courtroom battle, Brooke fought off an attempt to break Vincent's will, which left some $67 million to the Vincent Astor Foundation. As the foundation's president, Brooke would use this legacy to benefit New York, where the Astor fortune had been made.Brooke would personally visit each grant applicant and charm anyone she met. At her one-hundredth birthday, princes and presidents honored her, but in 2006 a grandson petitioned the courts to have his father removed as Brooke's guardian. Once again an Astor court battle became the stuff of headlines. This biography-based on firsthand knowledge and interviews with Brooke's friends and the heads of New York's great cultural institutions-gives us back the woman so loved and admired, whose hands-on approach would inspire future philanthropists.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780393331608
ISBN-10: 0393331601
Format: Paperback
(208mm x 142mm x 22mm)
Pages: 352
Imprint: WW Norton & Co
Publisher: WW Norton & Co
Publish Date: 6-May-2008
Country of Publication: United States


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Author Biography - Frances Kiernan

A former editor at The New Yorker, Frances Kiernan is the author of Seeing Mary Plain: A Life of Mary McCarthy. She lives in New York City.

Books By Author Frances Kiernan

Last Mrs Astor by Frances Kiernan

The Last Mrs Astor

Hardback, June 2007
Seeing Mary Plain by Frances Kiernan

Seeing Mary Plain

Paperback, June 2002