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).
Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt II (Alice), as "Electric Light," wore this pale yellow and shell-pink satin dress embroidered with tinsel, gilt and silver thread at a legendary dress ball (1883) given by her sister-in-law, Alva Vanderbilt. Designed by the venerable Maison Worth, the gown included a Prussian blue velvet train embroidered with gold. It was a gift from Countess Laszlo Szechenyi, her daughter. Subsequently the Vanderbilts secured a place in the social register. NYTimes
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.