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Lessons From Vanderbilt And Rockefeller: Know Your 'One Big Thing'

Cornelius Vanderbilt built his wealth in shipping and railroads. He was also the patriarch of the Vanderbilt family and one of the richest Americans in history. In today's dollars, his net worth would be $178 billion. His descendants include Gloria Vanderbilt ($200 million) and Anderson Cooper ($100 million).

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Cornelius Vanderbilt (May 27, 1794 – January 4, 1877), also known by the sobriquet Commodore, was an American industrialist and philanthropist who built his wealth in shipping and railroads. He was also the patriarch of the Vanderbilt family and one of the richest Americans in history. He provided the initial gift to found Vanderbilt University, which is named in his honor.

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Cornelius Vanderbilt II purchased and demolished 3 brownstone houses on the southwest corner of 57th Street and 5th Avenue in preparation for his new mansion. His wife was instrumental in the extravagance–it was “common belief that Alice Vanderbilt set out to draft her sister in law [Alva Vanderbilt]‘s Fifth Avenue château, and dwarf it she did.” Incredibly, in the 1890's,he purchased 5 more brownstones to demolish and expand his mansion.

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Cornelius Vanderbilt III and wife Grace Wilson on Easter Sunday 1915. Photo was taken on 5th Avenue. Note that Grace Wilson-Vanderbilt is carrying a prayer book in her left hand.

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Floor plan rendering, of the NYC home of American socialite and businessman, Cornelius Vanderbilt 11, and his wife Alice. Located at: 1 West 57th Street, & 5th Avenue. American architect: George Browne Post - built during America's Gilded Age era, c.1883, demolished, c.1927. ~ {cwl}

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Mrs Cornelius Vanderbilt III (Grace Wilson) and her children Cornelius Vanderbilt IV and Grace Vanderbilt. She was the wife of Consuelo Vanderbilt's first cousin. Their daughter Grace was at one time rumored to be engaged to Consuelo's son Lord Ivor Spencer-Churchill.

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