George Charles Boldt (1851-1918)
George C. Boldt, President of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel Company
He was born in Prussia on the Island of Rugen. Having come to New York as a kitchen boy aged-13, he rose to become, "the most famous hotelman in the world". His first big break came when he was appointed Assistant-Manager of the highly revered Philadelphia Club. Backed by some if its members, Bodlt became the proprietor of the Bellevue Hotel which quickly became the Philadelphia's most exclusive hotel. In 1891, he was invited to start the Waldorf Hotel in New York and by skilfully negotiating between the two warring factions of the Astor family (see the history of Mrs Astor's House) he created the iconic "Waldorf-Astoria". It was Boldt who transformed the image of an hotel from being a place where tourists merely slept to being a social magnet. In 1904, he also opened the Bellevue-Stratford in Philadelphia that followed the lines of the Waldorf-Astoria. In 1880, he married his beloved wife "my beautiful princess" for whom he built the equally iconic Boldt Castle. They were survived by two children.