William Kissam Vanderbilt II

William Kissam Vanderbilt II

Racing Driver
Born Mar 2, 1878

William Kissam Vanderbilt II was a motor racing enthusiast and yachtsman and a member of the prominent United States Vanderbilt family.

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of William Kissam Vanderbilt II.


1878 Birth He was born on October 26, 1878 in New York City, the second child and first son of William Kissam Vanderbilt and Alva Erskine Smith. … Read More


1898 19 Years Old Although he developed an interest in horse racing and yachting, he was totally fascinated with automobiles. At age 10, during a stay in the south of France he had ridden in a steam-powered tricycle from Beaulieu-sur-Mer the 7 kilometers to Monte Carlo and as a twenty-year-old, in 1898 he ordered a French De Dion-Bouton motor tricycle and had it shipped to New York. … Read More


1899 20 Years Old In 1899, Vanderbilt married Virginia Graham Fair (1875–1935), a wealthy heiress whose father, James Graham Fair had made a fortune in mining the famous Comstock Lode. … Read More
1900 21 Years Old A skilled sailor, he participated in yacht racing, winning the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup in 1900 with his new yacht he had named Virginia in honor of his new bride.
1902 23 Years Old In 1902, Vanderbilt began construction on his own country place at Lake Success on Long Island that he named "Deepdale." … Read More
1904 25 Years Old In 1904, Willie K. Vanderbilt set a new land speed record of in a Mercedes at the Daytona Beach Road Course at Ormond Beach, Florida. … Read More
1905 26 Years Old As such, in 1905 he joined other Vanderbilts on Fifth Avenue, building a townhouse at number 666.
1906 27 Years Old The Vanderbilt Cup auto races repeatedly had crowd control problems and at the 1906 race a spectator was killed. … Read More


1910 31 Years Old His new high-speed road complemented a train service that allowed a rapid exit from Manhattan. Becoming the first suburban automobile commuter, in 1910 Willie K. Vanderbilt began work on the much more elaborate and costly "Eagle's Nest" estate at Centerport, Long Island. … Read More
1917 38 Years Old On October 1, 1917 he was released from active duty and given a temporary leave of absence to resume his duties of vice-president of the New York Central Railroad. … Read More


1920 41 Years Old Already extremely wealthy from a trust fund and from his income as president of the New York Central Railroad Company, on his father's death in 1920, Willie K. Vanderbilt inherited a multimillion-dollar fortune.
1925 46 Years Old In 1925 he traded the luxury yacht Eagle for ownership of Fisher Island, Florida, a place he used as a winter residence. … Read More
1927 48 Years Old However, the Vanderbilts separated after ten years of marriage but did not formally divorce until 1927 when he wanted to remarry. … Read More


1931 52 Years Old In 1931 Vanderbilt had the Krupp shipyard in Keil, Germany build for him the 264 foot steam yacht Alva.
1933 54 Years Old In 1933, tragedy struck the Vanderbilt family when his 26-year-old son, William Kissam III, was killed in an automobile accident in South Carolina while driving home to New York City from his father's Florida estate. … Read More


1941 62 Years Old The Alva was donated by Vanderbilt to the U.S. Navy on November 4, 1941. … Read More
1944 65 Years Old Vanderbilt died on January 8, 1944 of a heart ailment and was interred in the family mausoleum at the Moravian Cemetery on Staten Island, New York.
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Kissam_Vanderbilt_II.
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.