|Birth: ||Sep. 5, 1873|
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA
|Death: ||Mar. 1, 1942|
Distinguished American military officer, engineer, inventor and notable yachtsman. Second son of Cornelius Vanderbilt II (1843-1899), and Alice Claypoole Gwynne Vanderbilt (1845-1934); great-grandson, and namesake, of 'Commodore' Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877) ~ founder of the family fortune. Cornelius III, affectionately called "Neily" by the family, was educated at St. Paul's School, Concord, New Hampshire, and Yale University; graduating with the degrees of Bachelor of Arts in 1895, Bachelor of Philosophy in 1898, and that of Mechanical Engineer in 1899.
Entering the motive engineering department of the New York Central Railroad, the family's principal investment, he designed improvements for locomotives and freight cars resulting in significant increases of fuel efficiency and revenue for the rail line, and the patents on his inventions brought him substantial royalty income. His study of the Metro systems of London and Paris enabled him to improve on New York City's subway system; entering into partnership with August Belmont, Jr. to incorporate the Interborough Rapid Transit Company in April, 1902.
A member of the military for three decades he fought in the border wars with Mexico, and in World War I was commander of the 102nd Engineers overseas, rising to the rank of Brigadier General; earning the Distinguished Service Medal; the New York State Conspicuous Service Medal; the Belgian 'Commander of the Order of the Crown'; and was made 'Commander of the Legion of Honor' of France. Serving as Brigadier General of the New York organized reserve until 1935 when he requested to be relieved of his duties due to the increased pressure of his business responsibilities.
A businessman of broad interests, in the early part of the 20th century, he was on the boards of directors of many corporations including railroads, insurance companies, and financial institutions. A 'Commodore' of the New York Yacht Club, 1903 to 1908, of which he became a member in 1891, General Vanderbilt devoted his private life to yachting ~ piloting his own craft across the Atlantic to take part in regattas in England and Germany. His "North Star" was the most famed of his many yachts, and on which he entertained the rulers and nobility of Britain and Europe. In earlier years his sloop "Aurora" won the King Edward VII Cup for the New York Yacht Club; his schooner yacht "Atlantic" won the transatlantic race for a cup offered by Kaiser Wilhelm II. Vanderbilt formed a firm friendship with the Kaiser, as well as with Kings Edward VII and George V of Great Britain, entertaining them aboard the "North Star" at naval regattas at Kiel, and Cowes. Prominent socially, every year when the annual compilation of club members of New York was made, he was listed as a member of nearly twenty clubs ~ which was usually the greatest figure for any individual.
Suffering from a heart ailment during the lasts months of his life, he succumbed to a cerebral hemorrhage aboard the yacht "Ambassadress" on Biscayne Bay in Miami, at the age of 68. Funeral services were held at Saint Thomas' Church on Fifth Avenue, in New York City, and were attended by over one thousand persons including military and civic leaders, and representatives of New York society, and the General's business interests. Entombment took place in the Vanderbilt Mausoleum on Staten Island, in a vault adjacent to those of his immediate family.
Cornelius Vanderbilt (1843 - 1899)
Alice Claypoole Gwynne Vanderbilt (1845 - 1934)
Grace Graham Wilson Vanderbilt (1870 - 1953)*
Alice Gwynne Vanderbilt (1868 - 1873)*
William Henry Vanderbilt (1870 - 1892)*
Cornelius Vanderbilt (1873 - 1942)
Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt (1877 - 1915)*
Reginald Vanderbilt (1880 - 1925)*
Richmond County (Staten Island)
New York, USA
Plot: Vanderbilt Mausoleum
Created by: Robert Bruce
Record added: Aug 14, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 20945950