The fabulous life of Brooke Astor, a pioneer of philanthropy and for decades a luminary of New York society. After a disastrous early marriage, Brooke Astor wedded the notoriously ill-tempered Vincent Astor, who died in 1959. In a highly publicized courtroom battle, Brooke fought off an attempt to break Vincent's will, which left some $67 million to the Vincent Astor Foundation. As the foundation's president, Brooke would use this legacy to benefit New York, where the Astor fortune had been made. She would personally visit each grant applicant and charm anyone she met. At her 100th 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 made headlines. This biography--based on firsthand knowledge and interviews--gives us back the woman so loved and admired, whose hands-on approach would inspire future philanthropists.--From publisher description.