Source of Wealth:ship and railroad business
Birth Place:Staten Island, New York
Full Name:Cornelius Vanderbilt
Date of Birth:May 27, 1794
About Cornelius Vanderbilt
Cornelius Vanderbilt was an American entrepreneur and philanthropist who had an inflation-adjusted estimated net worth of $185 billion.
Vanderbilt earned $100 landscaping his father's land when he was sixteen years old. He used the money to buy a sailboat, and began a passenger ferry business in New York Harbor.
In 1812, he was given a military contract to provide supplies to forts along the Hudson River.
In 1817, he sold his sailing vessels and got a job operating a steamboat for Thomas Gibbons. After Gibbons died, Vanderbilt began his own steamboat operations, buying up competitors and entering untapped markets.
By the mid 1840s, he handled more than 100 steamboats. In 1855, he began overseeing a transatlantic steamship business.
In the 1860s, he grabbed the opportunity by purchasing railroads in New York. With improving service, and low fares for his customers, Vanderbilt reportedly made $25 million.
Cornelius Vanderbilt was born on May 27, 1794 in Staten Island, New York, USA. He married his first cousin, Sophia Johnson, and had thirteen children. When Sophia died in 1868, Vanderbilt married his distant cousin Frances Armstrong Crawford.
Vanderbilt died on January 4, 1877 at the age of 83.