William Kissam Vanderbilt

William Kissam Vanderbilt

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    William Kissam Vanderbilt I was born on December 12, 1849. His father was William Henry Vanderbilt. His paternal grandfather was Cornelius Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt inherited $55 million (equal to about $1.5 billion today). from his father. He managed his family railroad investments. In 1879, after taking over P. T. Barnum's Great Roman Hippodrome which was on railroad property by Madison Square Park, he renamed the facility Madison Square Garden.

    Vanderbilt was one of the founders of The Jockey Club. He was a shareholder and president of the Sheepshead Bay Race Track in Brooklyn, New York and the owner of a successful racing stable. In 1896, he built the American Horse Exchange at 50th Street (Manhattan) and Broadway. In 1911 he leased it (and eventually sold it to) the Shubert Organization who then transformed it into the Winter Garden Theatre.

    Like other Vanderbilts, he built magnificent houses. His residences included Idle Hour (1900) on Long Island and Marble House (1892), designed by Richard Morris Hunt, in Newport, Rhode Island. Hunt also designed Vanderbilt's 660 Fifth Avenue mansion (1883).

    Vanderbilt was a co-owner of the yacht Defender, which won the 1895 America's Cup and briefly owned the large steam yacht Consuelo. Vanderbilt was a founder and president of the New Theatre. He was also a member of the Jekyll Island Club aka The Millionaires Club.

    Vanderbilt made significant charitable contributions to Vanderbilt University, a private university in Nashville, Tennessee named for his grandfather.

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    Pine Creek Railway Company Bond Certificate signed by William K. Vanderbilt and Chauncey DePew
    Pine Creek Railway Company Bond Certificate Signed by William K. Vanderbilt and Chauncey DePew
    Pine Creek Railway Company (Signed by Chauncey DePew and William K. Vanderbilt)
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