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By Charles W., Jr. Carey, Ian C. Friedman

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In 1789 Astor began investing some of the profits from his fur business in Manhattan real estate, a practice which he continued until his death. By the mid1820s he was collecting $100,000 in yearly rents, an astounding sum for the day. In 1834 he began construction of the Park Hotel, later renamed Astor House, which eventually became part of the Waldorf-Astoria, one of the most luxurious and well-known hotels in the United States. Astor’s extensive property holdings in New York City formed the basis for the Astor family fortune, which increased substantially under the management of his son Â�William and grandson John Jacob III.

Masters of Enterprise: Giants of American Business from John Jacob Astor and J. P. Morgan to Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey. New York: Free Press, 1999. Astor, John Jacob (1763–1848)╇ entrepreneur in the fur trade One of the first self-made men in American history was John Jacob Astor. Astor rose from being a butcher in his father’s shop to scion of one of the wealthiest families in the United States. Astor was born on July 17, 1763, in Waldorf, in the duchy of Baden (modern Germany). His father, Jacob, was a butcher, and his mother, Maria, was a homemaker.

He then devised a circuit that fed this oscillating signal back into the audion’s control grid, thereby amplifying the original signal so much that it could be heard across the room without earphones. Known as the regenerative circuit, Armstrong’s invention became and remained a standard feature of radio receivers into the 21st century. While in Paris during the war, Armstrong and Harry W. Houck developed a way to amplify very high frequency (VHF) waves so they could be used in radio communications.

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