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John Jacob Astor IV. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-116052).


Astor, John Jacob, IV (13 July 1864–15 April 1912), businessman, was born at “Ferncliff,” his father’s estate at Rinebeck-on-Hudson, New York, the son of William Backhouse Astor, Jr., and Caroline Webster Schermerhorn ( Caroline Astor). As the great-grandson and namesake of fur trade magnate ...


Crosby, James Morris (12 May 1927–10 April 1986), businessman and entertainment entrepreneur, was born in Great Neck, Long Island, New York, the son of John F. Crosby, an attorney, and Emily M. (maiden name unknown). After attending preparatory school in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, he went to Franklin and Marshall College in 1945. From that year to 1946, he served in the U.S. Navy, but 1946 found him back stateside, attending Bucknell College. He enrolled in Georgetown University later that year, graduating in 1948 with a degree in economics. He attended Georgetown Law School from 1948 to 1949. From 1949 to 1951 he was a shipping representative for the International Paint Company of New York City....


Marriott, John Willard (17 September 1900–13 August 1985), founder of the restaurant and hotel chain that bears his name, was born in Marriott, Utah, the son of Hyrum Marriott and Ellen Morris, farmers. In the town his grandfather established in 1854, the family, well off until after the First World War, was prominent in the Mormon church and the Republican party. At nineteen he left behind the hard life of farm work. For two years he served as a Mormon missionary in New England. While in the East he visited Washington and sought out members of Utah’s congressional delegation known to sponsor promising young fellow Mormons. He hoped that political contacts would provide a suitable job, but when they failed he returned to Utah. There he worked his way through a junior college and then the University of Utah, receiving an A.B. in 1926. Concentrating more on earning money and on social activities than on academic pursuits, he was particularly successful as a salesman....