Cornelius Vanderbilt

American businessman, philanthropist, and tycoon

Cornelius Vanderbilt (May 27, 1794 – January 4, 1877)[1] was an American businessman and philanthropist. He built his wealth in railroads and shipping.[2][3]

Cornelius Vanderbilt
Cornelius Vanderbilt Daguerrotype2.jpg
BornMay 27, 1794
DiedJanuary 4, 1877(1877-01-04) (aged 82)
New York City, U.S.
OccupationRailroad/Water transport businessman, philanthropist
  • Phebe Jane Vanderbilt
  • Ethelinda Vanderbilt
  • Eliza Vanderbilt
  • William Henry Vanderbilt
  • Emily Almira Vanderbilt
  • Sophia Johnson Vanderbilt
  • Maria Louisa Vanderbilt
  • Frances Lavinia Vanderbilt
  • Cornelius Jeremiah Vanderbilt
  • George W. Vanderbilt
  • Mary Alicia Vanderbilt
  • Catherine Juliette Vanderbilt
  • George Washington Vanderbilt
  • Cornelius van Derbilt
  • Phebe Hand
Cornelius Vanderbilt Signature.svg

He was also the patriarch of the Vanderbilt family. He was one of the richest Americans in history. He provided the initial gift to found Vanderbilt University, which is named in his honor.

Vanderbilt died on January 4, 1877 in New York City, New York from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), aged 82.[2]

Vanderbilt was worth more then $100 million at the time of his death (equivalent to approximately $2.470453125×109 in 2020 dollars).[4]


  1. "Commodore Vanderbilt's Life". New York Times. January 5, 1877.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Cornelius Vanderbilt.; A Long And Useful Life Ended. The Renowned Commodore Dies After Eight Months' Illness His Remarkable Career As A Man Of The World His Wealth Estimated At $100,000,000 Particulars Of His Illness And Death" (PDF). The New York Times. January 5, 1877.
  3. "Commodore Vanderbilt's Life" (PDF). New York Times. January 5, 1877.
  4. Klepper, Michael; Gunther, Michael (1996). The Wealthy 100: From Benjamin Franklin to Bill Gates—A Ranking of the Richest Americans, Past and Present. Secaucus, New Jersey: Carol Publishing Group. p. xi. ISBN 978-0-8065-1800-8. OCLC 33818143.

Other websitesEdit

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