Harold Stirling Vanderbilt
American sportsman and businessman
Harold Stirling Vanderbilt
Harold Stirling Vanderbilt was an American railroad executive, a champion yachtsman, a champion bridge player and a member of the Vanderbilt family.
Biography
Harold Stirling Vanderbilt's personal information overview.
{{personal_detail.supertitle}}
{{personal_detail.title}}
{{personal_detail.title}}
Photo Albums
Popular photos of Harold Stirling Vanderbilt
Relationships
View family, career and love interests for Harold Stirling Vanderbilt
Show More Show Less
News
News abour Harold Stirling Vanderbilt from around the web
It was 1938, and few believed the fishermens' warnings - The Suffolk Times
Google News - over 5 years
Shelter Island resident Albertus “Toots” Clark was aboard Harold Vanderbilt's 150-foot yacht Vara, tied up at Preston's Dock in Greenport, when the storm hit. “We didn't know it was a hurricane, but we knew that the wind was picking up,” he said
Article Link:
Google News article
The Bridge-Playing Champion of Wall Street - Wall Street Journal (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Harold Vanderbilt, a scion of the American industrialist family, created the modern bridge scoring system in the 1920s. Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are serious bridge players. (The Oracle of Omaha plays bridge online, under the handle “Tbone
Article Link:
Google News article
Legendary J Class Yachts Return to Newport - JustLuxe.com
Google News - over 5 years
Famous J Class owners included Harold Vanderbilt, Sir Thomas Lipton and King Edward VII. Viewing stands will be set up on the Northwestern corner of Newport's famed Fort Adams and other excellent viewing options will be at Castle Hill Inn and various
Article Link:
Google News article
The Man Who Played Rockefeller - Wall Street Journal
Google News - almost 6 years
Crowe was referring to the big yachts built during the great Depression for the likes of Vincent Astor and Harold Vanderbilt, great-grandson of Cornelius. He told Wells that his J-boat was named "True Love," and that the family was miffed that the
Article Link:
Google News article
BRIDGE; Which Minor to Ruff? Declarer Puzzles It Out
NYTimes - over 6 years
The oldest bridge event still being contested is the Goldman Pairs. It was first played in New York City in 1929, when it was won by Oswald Jacoby and George Reith. (Remember, it was only in 1925 that Harold Vanderbilt had invented contract bridge.) The winners of the 82nd Goldman last Sunday at the Eastern States Regional in Manhattan were Doug
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Bridge; Old Club in Manhattan, Bright Day in Pittsburgh
NYTimes - almost 12 years
The earliest clubs in New York City were the haunts of Harold Vanderbilt and the other aristocrats of the game. These private clubs have almost disappeared, replaced by open clubs where anyone can drop in and get a game. The oldest of these is the Manhattan, which was founded in 1976 and has had homes on the West Side. It now has a custom-built
Article Link:
NYTimes article
SOAPBOX; Bridging the Gap
NYTimes - over 12 years
BRING me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to make seven no-trump . . . In July, I have made regular treks from my home in Summit to Midtown Manhattan, where, for the first time since 1974, the American Contract Bridge League's Summer Nationals were held in the Big Apple. I wasn't alone in this commute; as with other sports, many
Article Link:
NYTimes article
F.Y.I.
NYTimes - about 14 years
Bye Bye, Bumper Boys Q. Years ago, I remember seeing adventurous youths riding on the back bumpers of city buses. But I haven't seen this happen in years. Why? A. The Transit Authority began to notice the problem in the late 70's, a spokesman said, and clamped down on the reckless fare beaters. In 1981, all new buses ordered by the authority
Article Link:
NYTimes article
A Grand Century, But a Birthday More Modest; A Tribute to a Luxury Train Faces Changes in the Itinerary
NYTimes - over 14 years
Back in the 20th century, it was the train the New York Central rolled out the red carpet for. It streaked from Grand Central Terminal to Chicago in a mere 16 hours. It had maids and maîtres d'hôtel to see that everything was right with its V.I.P. crowd: celebrities, bons vivants and, in the movies anyway, the glamorous and the nefarious. From
Article Link:
NYTimes article
BRIDGE; Eastern Europeans Win Vanderbilt Team Title
NYTimes - almost 16 years
A foursome from Eastern Europe captured the prestigious Vanderbilt Knockout Team title here on Saturday night as the American Contract Bridge League's Spring Nationals wound down. Andrew Gromov and Aleksandr Petrunin of Moscow combined with two Polish world champions, Cezary Balicki and Adam Zmudzinski, for the first non-American victory in the
Article Link:
NYTimes article
BRIDGE; A Hand That Helps Explain A Hall of Fame Admission
NYTimes - over 16 years
One of the best-loved characters in the world of bridge half a century ago was Harry J. Fishbein, the proprietor of the famous Mayfair Club in New York City. He will be inducted into the American Contract Bridge League's Hall of Fame at ceremonies in Anaheim, Calif., next Thursday. Fishbein was born in 1898, and in his teens he played the prototype
Article Link:
NYTimes article
BRIDGE; Heart-Holding Tale Starts With 2 Diamonds
NYTimes - almost 17 years
Since Harold Vanderbilt introduced contract bridge to the world in 1925 and followed up with the Vanderbilt Club System, dozens of methods have used one club as an artificial strong opening. The most popular and durable has been Precision Club, devised by a Chinese-American shipowner, Charles Wei, in 1963. His widow, Kathie Wei-Sender, who used the
Article Link:
NYTimes article
YACHT RACING; Another Transition For America's Cup As Italy Celebrates
NYTimes - about 17 years
When the sleek, silver sloop representing Italy's Prada Challenge skimmed across the finish line Sunday to win the Louis Vuitton challenger series and the right to face Team New Zealand for the America's Cup, it set off a symphony of honking air horns and unrestrained cheers, beginning a celebration that shook the Auckland waterfront until the wee
Article Link:
NYTimes article
BRIDGE; When the Market Crashed And Bridge World Began
NYTimes - over 17 years
The world's oldest bridge magazine will celebrate its 70th birthday this month. It is The Bridge World, which was founded by Ely Culbertson in October 1929, just as the stock market was collapsing. He intended it to publicize his bidding system, books and various commercial enterprises, but it gradually grew in stature and became the choice of good
Article Link:
NYTimes article
BRIDGE; The Traps Of Slams, Big or Small
NYTimes - over 17 years
Those who play social bridge, whether the traditional rubber game as devised by Harold Vanderbilt or the modern four-deal variety, are notoriously reluctant to bid grand slams, far more reluctant than tournament players. This is partly for the practical reason that ad hoc social partnerships are unlikely to have the sophisticated bidding tools
Article Link:
NYTimes article
BRIDGE; When the Royal Auto Club Gripped the Devonshire Cup
NYTimes - about 18 years
Just as mammals are divided into two sexes, so bridge games are of two kinds: social, in which there is just one table, and duplicate, in which there are at least two tables. There used to be, however, one extraordinary hybrid, long played in the old-fashioned social clubs of London. Representative teams competed for the Devonshire Club Cup, and
Article Link:
NYTimes article
TRAVEL ADVISORY; A Ride Back in Time: Pullman Cars Return
NYTimes - almost 19 years
The return of luxury train travel in the United States will get a boost on Saturday, with the first of four transcontinental trips by two refurbished private cars from the 1920's, one built for Harold Vanderbilt, the son of Cornelius Vanderbilt. Pulled by regular Amtrak trains, the cars, operated by American Pullman Traditions of San Marino,
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Bridge
NYTimes - almost 20 years
The ninth edition of the Laws of Duplicate Bridge comes into force tomorrow. The changes from the previous edition are quite minor, suggesting the lawmakers were on target in the previous edition, in 1987. A deliberate change of call, after some hesitation, will never do the changer much good. He or she will receive at most an average-minus score.
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Bridge
NYTimes - over 20 years
A famous episode in English history concerned the arrival of the Spanish Armada in 1588. Word that the Armada had been sighted was brought to the British Admiral, Sir Francis Drake, who was known as the first ship's captain ever to sail around the world. At the time he was pleasantly occupied playing bowls -- lawn bowls with heavy wooden balls. On
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Bridge
NYTimes - almost 21 years
This is the centenary of the birth of one of the great figures of the game, Waldemar von Zedtwitz, who died in 1984. Last night many of his friends gathered at the Plaza for a dinner at which Prince Joli Kansil of Hawaii was host. Von Zedtwitz, a German baron, settled in Manhattan after World War I and was long the favorite partner of Harold
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Harold Stirling Vanderbilt
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1970
    Age 85
    Harold Stirling Vanderbilt died in July 4, 1970.
    More Details Hide Details Ironically, this was only two weeks after the Penn Central Railroad, successor to the New York Central Railroad, had declared bankruptcy (on June 21, 1970). He and his wife, Gertrude Conoway Vanderbilt, are interred at Saint Mary's Episcopal Cemetery in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, their graves marked with only a simple flat stone. It is uncertain why he chose to be buried in Rhode Island rather than in the Vanderbilt family mausoleum on Staten Island. It is noteworthy, however, that he is buried in the same cemetery as his business rival Robert R. Young. Other sources
  • 1963
    Age 78
    In 1963, Vanderbilt assisted the Preservation Society of Newport County in acquiring Marble House, which his mother had sold more than 30 years earlier.
    More Details Hide Details Their bid was successful, and the property was converted into a museum that has been open to the public since the mid-1960s.
  • 1955
    Age 70
    A longtime member of the university's Board of Trust, he served as its president between 1955 and 1968.
    More Details Hide Details He helped guide the institution through a time in history when racial integration of the student body was a divisive and explosive issue. In 1962 Vanderbilt attended one of the first meetings of the Vanderbilt Sailing Club and provided funding for the club to purchase its first fleet of dinghies, Penguins. The university annually offers several scholarships named in his honor, and on the grounds in front of Buttrick Hall, a statue designed by Joseph Kiselewski was erected in his honor. Vanderbilt was also a card game enthusiast. In 1925, while on board SS Finland, he originated changes to the scoring system through which the game of contract bridge supplanted auction bridge in popularity. Three years later he endowed the Vanderbilt Cup awarded to the winners of the North American championship (now the Vanderbilt Knockout Teams, or simply "the Vanderbilt", one of the North American Bridge Championships marquee events). In 1932 and again in 1940 he was part of a team that won his own trophy; it remains one of the most prized in the game. Vanderbilt also donated the World Bridge Federation Vanderbilt Trophy, awarded from 1960 to 2004 to the winner of the Open category at the quadrennial World Team Olympiad, and since 2008 to the winner of the corresponding event at the World Mind Sports Games.
  • 1947
    Age 62
    In 1947, Vanderbilt was invested as an honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by King George VI.
    More Details Hide Details The letters patent conferring the honor on him (signed by Queen Mary in her capacity as Grand Master of the Order) and the insignia of the order are on display in the Trophy Room at the Marble House summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1944
    Age 59
    Following the death of his brother William in 1944, he remained the only active representative of the Vanderbilt family involved with the New York Central Railroad.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1938
    Age 53
    In addition to sailing, Vanderbilt was a licensed pilot, and in 1938 he acquired a Sikorsky S-43 "Flying Boat".
    More Details Hide Details At the outbreak of the Second World War, Vanderbilt's yachts Vagrant and Vara, which was under construction, were seized by the United States Navy. The Vagrant was designated as YP-258 and later as PYc-30. Navy official Edmond J. Moran met with Vanderbilt in New York, to present him with a check for $300,000 as compensation for the Vagrant. Upon receiving the check, Vanderbilt signed it over to the USO, so the money could be used to benefit servicemen. The Vara was completed, renamed as the USS Valiant, and designated as PC-509 (later as PYc-51).
  • 1935
    Age 50
    In the fall of 1935, Harold began a study of the yacht racing rules with three friends: Philip J. Roosevelt, President of the North American Yacht Racing Union (predecessor to US SAILING); Van Merle-Smith, President of the Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound; and Henry H. Anderson. "The four men began by attempting to take the right-of-way rules as they were and amending them.
    More Details Hide Details After about six weeks of intensive effort, they finally concluded that they were getting exactly nowhere. It was the basic principles, not the details, that were causing the problems. They would have to start from scratch." In 1936, Vanderbilt, with assistance from the other three had developed an alternative set of rules, printed them, and mailed a copy to every yachtsman that Harold knew personally or by name in both the United States and England. These were virtually ignored, but a second edition in 1938 was improved, as were following versions. Vanderbilt continued to work with the various committees of the North American Yacht Racing Union until finally in 1960 the International Yacht Racing Union (predecessor to the International Sailing Federation or ISAF) adopted the rules that Vanderbilt and the Americans had developed over the previous quarter century. Harold Vanderbilt had a keen interest in the success of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, founded in 1873 through the financial sponsorship of his great-grandfather.
  • FORTIES
  • 1934
    Age 49
    In 1934, his sister, Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan, built her own mansion on Hypoluxo Island, across the water from Eastover.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1931
    Age 46
    In 1931, he filed papers to incorporate the Town of Manalapan and became the Town's first mayor.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1930
    Age 45
    In 1930, after a property dispute with the Town of Palm Beach, Florida, Vanderbilt moved several miles south to an undeveloped area called Manalapan, where he purchased 500 feet of oceanfront property and built a mansion called Eastover.
    More Details Hide Details
    His victory put him on the cover of the September 15, 1930, issue of TIME magazine (see image).
    More Details Hide Details In 1934 Harold faced a dangerous challenger from the United Kingdom, namely Endeavour. The British boat won the first two races but Vanderbilt in Rainbow won three races in a row and defend the Cup. In 1937 he won again in Ranger, the last of the J-class yachts to defend the Cup. They were posthumously elected to the America's Cup Hall of Fame in 1993. Later in life Vanderbilt would become Commodore of the New York Yacht Club and would be intimately involved in many successful America's Cup defenses.
    Vanderbilt achieved the pinnacle of yacht racing in 1930 by defending the America's Cup in the J-class yacht Enterprise.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1925
    Age 40
    In 1925, he built his own luxurious vacation home at Palm Beach, Florida that he called "El Solano." (John Lennon, formerly of The Beatles, purchased it shortly before his 1980 murder.)
    More Details Hide Details
  • THIRTIES
  • 1922
    Age 37
    He served as commodore of the New York Yacht Club from 1922 to 1924.
    More Details Hide Details
    As an adult, he pursued his interest in yachting, winning six "King's Cups" and five Astor Cups at regattas between 1922 and 1938.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1920
    Age 35
    On his father's death in 1920, Harold inherited a fortune that included the Idle Hour country estate at Oakdale, New York (on Long Island) and equity in several railway companies:
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1918
    Age 33
    He was placed on inactive duty December 30, 1918 and was promoted to lieutenant on February 26, 1919, retroactive to September 21, 1918.
    More Details Hide Details He was discharged from the Naval Reserve on March 26, 1921.
    He served with Detachment 3 until the unit was disbanded on November 25, 1918 - shortly after the Armistice was signed.
    More Details Hide Details
    On July 17, 1918, he was reassigned to the US Navy forces in Europe and reported to Submarine Chaser Detachment 3 at Queenstown, Ireland in August.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1917
    Age 32
    When the United States entered World War I, he was called to active duty on April 9, 1917 and assigned as commanding officer of the scout patrol boat USS Patrol No. 8 (SP-56), which operated out of Newport, Rhode Island.
    More Details Hide Details He was reassigned on July 20 to command the Block Island, Rhode Island, anti-submarine sector and on November 17 the New London, Connecticut sector. Upon his reassignment the officers and men of the Block Island sector presented him with an engraved naval officer's sword as a token of their esteem. The sword is now displayed at the Marble House in Newport.
    In March 1917, Vanderbilt was commissioned a lieutenant (junior grade) in the United States Naval Reserve.
    More Details Hide Details
  • TWENTIES
  • 1907
    Age 22
    He was educated by tutors and at private schools in Massachusetts, including St. Mark's School, Harvard College (AB 1907), and Harvard Law School, where he attended from 1907 to 1910 but did not receive a degree.
    More Details Hide Details He then joined the New York Central Railroad, the centerpiece of his family's vast railway empire, of which his father was president. Vanderbilt nearly lost his yacht, the Vagrant, on Britain's entry into the First World War. The British competitor for the 1914 America's Cup, Shamrock IV, was crossing the Atlantic with the steam yacht Erin, destined for Bermuda, when Britain declared war on Germany on August 5, 1914. The British crews received word of the declaration of war by radio. As the Commodore of the New York Yacht Club, Vanderbilt sent the Vagrant from Rhode Island to Bermuda to meet the Shamrock IV and Erin, and to escort them to the US. Meanwhile, among the first things done in Bermuda on the declaration was to remove all maritime navigational aids. The Vagrant arrived on the 8th. Having no radio, the crew were unaware of the declaration of war and finding all of the buoys and other navigational markers missing, they attempted to pick their own way in through the Narrows, the channel that threads through the barrier reef. This took them directly to the fore of St. David's Battery, where the gunners were on a war footing and opened fire. This was just a warning shot, which had the desired effect. The Shamrock IV and Erin arrived the next day. The America's Cup was cancelled for that year.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1884
    Born
    Born on July 6, 1884.
    More Details Hide Details
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
All data offered is derived from public sources. Spokeo does not verify or evaluate each piece of data, and makes no warranties or guarantees about any of the information offered. Spokeo does not possess or have access to secure or private financial information. Spokeo is not a consumer reporting agency and does not offer consumer reports. None of the information offered by Spokeo is to be considered for purposes of determining any entity or person's eligibility for credit, insurance, employment, housing, or for any other purposes covered under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)