About Vanderbilt Family
The Vanderbilts is one of the most influential families in the world. It gained prominence hundreds of years ago, back in the Gilded Age, when Cornelius Vanderbilt established his railroads and shipping empires, which gradually expanded into the other industry areas. Cornelius’ descendants are currently credited for building “summer cottages” in Rhode Island, mansions in the Fifth Avenue, Baltimore House, Newport and other prominent houses famous all over the world. According to watchingtheworld.com, in 1877, Vanderbilt family net worth amounted to $105 billion.
In order to realize what kind of fortune Cornelius has actually held, one has to comprehend that back in the day the prices were much lower and the whole American economy was worth some $9 billion dollars. That means the Vanderbilt’s fortune constituted %1,5 of it. Adjusted for the late 2000s this sum would equal about $160 billion, making Vanderbilt family net worth the second greatest in the world’s history. After Cornelius death most of his fortune was inherited by his son William Hendry Vanderbilt. Although the patriarch had more sons, he was convinced that Williams is the only one capable of maintaining and expanding his business empire, thus in his testament he awarded him with $95 million.
The rest of Vanderbilt family net worth was distributed among his wife and daughters: each of them received $500 thousand dollars. Back in the late 19th and early 20th century such an amount of money was enough to ensure that not only his daughters (Phebe, Ethelinda and Eliza), but also their kids would live in affluence.
In the middle of 20th century the Vanderbilts suffered a major loss off fortune, which was written down in history as the Fall of the House of Vanderbilt. The business empire that took centuries to build was torn down to ashes in several decades. The luxurious houses in the United States that used to shelter generation after generation were turned into museums or sold for private owners. Needless to say, the fall of such an influential family has aroused a public curiosity and gave raise to hundreds of false gossips. Their family story was scrutinized not only in the newspapers and magazines, but also in the books.
Today Vanderbilt family net worth is a mere shadow of their former fortunes. Despite that, some of Cornelius’ descendents still enjoy a luxurious lifestyle. For example, his great-great-great-… granddaughter, Gloria Laura Vanderbilt currently owns capital and assets worth about $200 million. She inherited most of this fortune from her father, Reginald Claypool Vanderbilt. Gloria has also managed to establish an impressive professional career as an actress, journalist, author and fashion designer. After her death the Vanderbilts’ fortune will flow to her sons, who carry the family names of her former Husbands: Leopold Stokowski Wyatt Emory Cooper.