Cornelius Vanderbilt II

Cornelius Vanderbilt II
Cornelius Vanderbilt II

Cornelius Vanderbilt II by John Singer Sargent
Born November 27, 1843(1843-11-27)
Died September 12, 1899(1899-09-12) (aged 55)
Residence The Breakers
Employer New York Central Railroad
Spouse Alice Claypoole Gwynne (m. 1867–1899) «start: (1867)–end+1: (1900)»"Marriage: Alice Claypoole Gwynne to Cornelius Vanderbilt II" Location: (linkback://
Children William Henry Vanderbilt II (1870–1892)
Cornelius Vanderbilt III (1873–1942)
Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875–1942)
Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt (1877–1915)
Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt (1880–1925)
Countess Gladys Vanderbilt Széchenyi (1886–1965)
Parents William Henry Vanderbilt
Relatives Cornelius Vanderbilt, grandfather
Gloria Vanderbilt, granddaughter

Cornelius Vanderbilt II (November 27, 1843 – September 12, 1899) 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.[1]


He had a reputation as something of a workaholic, though a stroke in 1896 compelled him to reduce his active business involvement. In 1867 he married Alice Claypoole Gwynne (1845–1934) whom he met at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church where both taught Sunday School. 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. 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).[2]

The fabulous Fifth Avenue mansions he, his brothers, and his sons lived in have been demolished, but the Newport, Rhode Island vacation home he built, The Breakers, still stands as a memory of the lifestyle of Cornelius Vanderbilt II.

Vanderbilt was active in numerous organizations including the YMCA, Red Cross, Salvation Army, Trinity Church, St. Bartholomew's Church, and the Newport Country Club.

On his death, family leadership passed to his brother, William Kissam Vanderbilt. His philanthropy had been such that he did not increase the wealth that had been left to him.[3]


  1. ^ Vanderbilt, Arthur T., II (1989). Fortune's Children: The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt. New York: Morrow. ISBN 0688072798.
  2. ^ Vanderbilt, Arthur T., II (1989). Fortune's Children: The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt. New York: Morrow. ISBN 0688072798.
  3. ^ Vanderbilt, Arthur T., II (1989). Fortune's Children: The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt. New York: Morrow. ISBN 0688072798.

See also

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cornelius Vanderbilt — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Cornelius Vanderbilt Nacionalidad …   Wikipedia Español

  • Cornelius Vanderbilt IV — Born April 30, 1898(1898 04 30) Staten Island Died …   Wikipedia

  • Cornelius Vanderbilt — (ursprüngliche Form des Familiennamens: Van Der Bilt, Vander Bilt) (* 27. Mai 1794 in Port Richmond (heute zu New York City) auf Staten Island, New York; † 4. Januar 1877 in New York City) war einer der erfolgreichsten und reichsten Unternehmer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Cornelius Vanderbilt — I (27 mai 1794 – 4 janvier 1877), était un entrepreneur américain qui bâtit sa fortune dans la construction maritime et les chemins de fer. Il était le patriarche de la famille Vanderbilt. Fils de Cornelius Vanderbilt et de Phebe Hand, il était… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cornelius Vanderbilt — For other people named Cornelius Vanderbilt, see Cornelius Vanderbilt (disambiguation). Cornelius Vanderbilt …   Wikipedia

  • Cornelius Vanderbilt — noun United States financier who accumulated great wealth from railroad and shipping businesses (1794 1877) • Syn: ↑Vanderbilt, ↑Commodore Vanderbilt • Instance Hypernyms: ↑financier, ↑moneyman, ↑philanthropist, ↑altruist * * * …   Useful english dictionary

  • Cornelius Vanderbilt — ➡ Vanderbilt (I) * * * …   Universalium

  • Cornelius Vanderbilt III — Vanderbilt III circa 1910–1915 Born September 5, 1873(1873 09 05) New York City Died …   Wikipedia

  • Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney — Born February 20, 1899(1899 02 20) Roslyn, New York Died December 13, 1992(1992 12 13) (aged 93) Saratoga Springs, New York Residence Old Westbury, New York …   Wikipedia

  • Cornelius Vanderbilt (disambiguation) — Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794–1877) was an American entrepreneur. Cornelius Vanderbilt may also refer to: Cornelius Vanderbilt II (1843–1899) Cornelius Vanderbilt III (1873–1942) Cornelius Vanderbilt IV (1898–1974) This disambiguation page lists… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.