Vanderbilt, Cornelius (1794-1877)
Cornelius Vanderbilt was born in Port Richmond, Staten Island New York on May 27th 1794. He was the son of poor farmer with 9 children. Vanderbilt began a small ferrying business at the age of 16. Vanderbilt grew his business and by 1818 it had grown to be worth $15,000 when he sold it. For the next 30 years Vanderbilt built a small fortune in shipping. In the 1850's Vanderbilt began investing in Railroads. In 1862 Vanderbilt gained control of the Harlem Railroad. In succeeding years Vanderbilt continued his various railroad investments to create the Grand Central Railroad. In 1871 Vanderbilt completed Grand Central Station in New York. By the time of his death in 1877 Vanderbilt had built one of the centuries greatest fortunes.