John Jacob Astor was a German-American business magnate, merchant and investor who was the first prominent member of the Astor family and the first multi-millionaire in the United States. He was the creator of the first trust in America.
He went to the United States following the American Revolutionary War and built a fur-trading empire that extended to the Great Lakes region and Canada, and later expanded into the American West and Pacific coast. He also got involved in smuggling opium. In the early 19th century he diversified into New York City real estate and later became a famed patron of the arts.