Cornelius Vanderbilt II
United States railroad manager
Cornelius Vanderbilt II
Cornelius Vanderbilt II was an American socialite, heir, businessman, and a member of the prominent United States Vanderbilt family. He was the favorite grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt, who left him $5 million, and the eldest son of William Henry Vanderbilt, who left him close to $70 million. In his turn he succeeded them as head of the New York Central and related railroad lines in 1885.
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  • 1899
    Age 55
    Died in 1899.
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  • 1896
    Age 52
    He had a reputation as something of a workaholic, though a stroke in 1896 compelled him to reduce his active business involvement.
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  • 1885
    Age 41
    In his turn he succeeded them as head of the New York Central and related railroad lines in 1885.
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  • 1869
    Age 25
    Their eldest child, a daughter named Alice Gwynne Vanderbilt, was born in 1869 but died of a childhood illness in 1874 at the age of five.
    More Details Hide Details Their second child and eldest son William Henry Vanderbilt II (1870–1892) died of typhoid fever while a junior at Yale University, and Cornelius endowed a large dormitory there. He disinherited his second son Cornelius Vanderbilt III (1873–1942) for marrying without his approval. Third son Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt (1877–1915) went down with the RMS Lusitania. His remaining son was Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt (1880–1925), the father of Cathleen Vanderbilt (from his first marriage to society debutante Cathleen Neilson) and socialite & fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt (from his second marriage to Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt) He is the grandfather of CNN television news anchor Anderson Cooper and his late brother, Carter Vanderbilt Cooper. By all accounts, Reginald was a lazy, alcoholic wastrel who wasted millions of dollars from his family inheritance on women, liquor, fine food, automobiles and other lavish "toys", and especially gambling. Cornelius Vanderbilt's two surviving daughters were Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875–1942) and Countess Gladys Vanderbilt Széchenyi (1886–1965).
  • 1867
    Age 23
    In 1867 he married Alice Claypoole Gwynne (1845–1934) whom he met at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church where both taught Sunday School.
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  • 1843
    Born in 1843.
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