Cornelius Vanderbilt Biography
(Business Tycoon & Philanthropist)
Birthday: May 27, 1794 (Gemini)
Born In: Staten Island
Cornelius Vanderbilt was an American business tycoon and philanthropist known for amassing his fortune in railroads and shipping. One of the richest persons in the history of United States, Vanderbilt is most recognized for building the New York Central Railroad. Born into a poor family in Staten Island, New York, Cornelius left studies at the age of 11 and became involved in his father’s ferry business. Afterwards, he bought a sailboat and started his own ferry business, which soon became profitable as a result of his business acumen. Later, upon recognizing the superiority of steam over sailing vessels, he became a captain on a steam ferry between New York and New Brunswick. Subsequently, he started his own transatlantic steam-shipping business, covering most of the Hudson River traffic. Later, he turned his attention more and more towards the business of development of railroads, which was beginning to grow in the Unites States. He served as a director, and then the president, of the New York & Harlem railroad company, bringing a great deal of perfection in the services. Later, upon becoming the president of the New York Central railroad, he merged it with the Hudson River railroad, giving rise to one of the first giant corporations in American history. Also a leading philanthropist, he endowed a large sum for the construction of Vanderbilt University and donated generously to the churches. Deemed as one of America's leading capitalists, Vanderbilt is aptly credited for shaping the present-day United States.