Brooke Astor (born 30 March 1902)1 was born Roberta Brook Russell in New Hampshire, the daughter of John Henry Russell and his wife née Mabel Cecile Hornby Howard. She has married three times, the first time at age 16, to J. Dryden Kuser. She described this marriage as "the worst years of her life", with her husband physically abusing her, drinking to excess and philandering. Her son, Anthony, by this marriage, was adopted by her second husband, Charles Marshal, a stockbroker. She achieved particular social prominence through her third marriage, in 1953, to Vincent Astor (1891-1959), last particularly wealthy American member of the famous Astor family and elder son of Titanic victim John Jacob Astor IV (1864-1912).
On Mr. Astor's death she took charge of the philanthropies to which he left his fortune, and despite liquidating the Vincent Astor Foundation in 1997 has continued to be active in charities and in New York's social life.