John Jacob Astor

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The first hundred thousand — that was hard to get, but afterwards it was easy to make more.

John Jacob Astor (July 17, 1763March 29, 1848), originally either Johann Jakob or Johann Jacob, was the first of the Astor family dynasty and the first millionaire in the United States, making his fortune in the fur trade, real estate, and opium industries.


  • The first hundred thousand—that was hard to get; but afterwards it was easy to make more.
    • Quoted in James Parton (1865), Life of John Jacob Astor
  • Could I begin life again, knowing what I know now, and had money to invest, I would buy every foot of land on the island of Manhattan.
    • Quoted in Matthew Hale Smith (1868), Sunshine and Shadow in New York
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