Gothamist: Brooke Astor Dies at Age 105:
Brooke Astor passed away today. A gentleman should never ask a lady her age, but once Brooke Astor passed the century mark, she probably didn't care who knew how old she was. Brooke Astor was the wife of Vincent Astor, the only son of John Jacob Astor IV, who died in the sinking of the Titanic. The Astor family's roots stretch back almost as far as the history of New York City itself. The subway station at Astor Place in Manhattan is decorated with beavers, the animal whose pelt was the foundation of the family fortune before John Jacob Astor began buying large swathes of New York real estate.