(Bloomberg) — Anthony Marshall, the son and heir of New York philanthropist Brooke Astor who went to prison at age 89 for his handling of her estate, has died. He was 90.
He died on Nov. 30 at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, his lawyer, Kenneth E. Warner, said yesterday in an e-mail. No cause was given.
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Marshall was a former U.S. ambassador who said he had worked on the CIA’s U-2 spy-plane program in the 1950s. He was best known as the only child of Astor, a socialite who was a major funder of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and New York Public Library.
Controversy swirled over her fortune for several years before her death in 2007 at age 105, after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Her will was changed several times in the years leading up to her death to give Marshall a bigger share of her fortune, valued by the New York State Attorney General at more than $100 million.
Marshall was co-executor of the estate and also managed his mother’s finances for many years. Marshall was initially investigated for elder abuse. No charges stemmed from that, though Marshall and an Astor family lawyer, Francis X. Morrissey Jr., were convicted in 2009 on charges including grand larceny over changes to the will.
After a rejected appeal, Marshall received a sentence of one to three years in prison and reported on June 21, 2013. He was released on medical parole two months later.
Anthony Dryden Marshall was born May 30, 1924, in Manhattan, according to a birth announcement in the New York Herald Tribune. His father was J. Dryden Kuser, the first husband of the former Roberta Brooke Russell. Kuser was a grandson of John Fairfield Dryden, the founder of Prudential Insurance Company.
The future Brooke Astor was the daughter of a Marine Corps commandant and just 17 when she married Kuser in 1919. It was a tumultuous marriage. She moved to Reno in 1929 and divorced him. Three years later, she married investment banker Charles Henry Marshall.
Anthony Kuser took Marshall’s name, though he was never formally adopted, according to “The Last Mrs. Astor,” a 2007 biography by Frances Kiernan.
Charles Marshall died in 1952, and the next year she married Vincent Astor, an heir to one of the largest real estate fortunes in the U.S.