CORNELIUS VANDERBILT Biography - Bussiness people and enterpreneurs


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Vanderbilt, Cornelius. American capitalist. Born near Stapleton, Staten       
Island, NY, May 27, 1794. Early engaged in steamboat transportation           
between Staten Island and New York, and so enlarged his business that he       
soon gained the complete control of the New York and Staten Island lines.     
Later, Vanderbilt started steamboats in various waters - the Hudson, the       
Delaware, Long Island Sound - and established steamboats and other             
connections between New York and California. In 1864, he withdrew his         
capital from shipping and invested it in railroads. He secured the             
management of one railroad after another and, in 1877, controlled stocks       
representing an aggregate capital of $150,000,000 of which he owned fully     
one-half. In 1861, Vanderbilt presented the swift $800,000 steamship           
"Vanderbilt" to the United States government to be used for the capture of     
Confederate privateers. Later he endowed Vanderbilt University, founded at     
Nashville, TN, in 1872, with $500,000; afterward increased to $700,000. At     
the time of his death in New York City, January 4, 1877, his fortune was       
estimated at nearly $100,000,000, and he was supposed to be the richest       
man in the world.