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"Kiernan's sharp-eyed biography brings back a woman who, far into her 90s, relished the dance of life." —O, The Oprah Magazine
This biography, based on firsthand knowledge and interviews with Mrs. Astor’s friends and the heads of New York’s great cultural institutions, gives us back the woman so loved and admired. At the age of 51, Brooke Astor wedded the notoriously ill-tempered Vincent Astor, who died in 1959. In a highly publicized courtroom battle, she fought off an attempt to break Vincent’s will, which left $67 million to the Vincent Astor Foundation. As the foundation’s president, Mrs. Astor would use this legacy to benefit New York City. She would personally visit every grant applicant and charm anyone she met. At her 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.