John Jacob Astor

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Biographical Information

MAJOR SIR JOHN ASTOR, who has died in 2000 aged 82, was the fourth and youngest son of the 2nd Viscount Astor and his formidable American wife Nancy, the first woman to take her seat in the House of Commons... He became a commander in Phantom, the secret unit which was attached to the SAS in France and operated deep behind enemy lines.

"From 1951 to 1959 Astor was Conservative MP for the Sutton Division of Plymouth, his mother's former seat, and one of only eight Conservatives courageous enough to defy the Whips over Suez. His judgment that the venture was "unnecessary and wrong" now gains considerably more support.

"He was chairman of the Agricultural Research Council from 1968 to 1978, and of the National Economic Development Council from 1978 to 1983, activities which earned him a knighthood in 1978.

"On the Turf, he became a successful owner and breeder, as well as serving two terms as a Steward of the Jockey Club. He was also a member of the Horseracing Totalisator Board, and of the Horserace Betting Levy Board..." [1]

His brothers are David Astor and Michael Astor.


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  1. Major Sir John Astor, organizational web page, accessed January 7, 2013.