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The Wealth And Succes Of William Vanderbilt

682 words - 3 pages

William Vanderbilt was an American businessman whose wealth was derived from the thriving railroad industry of the late nineteenth century. He was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey in 1821 and died at age 64 on December 8, 1885. During this time, he led the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway, the Canada Southern Railway, and the Michigan Central Railroad. He took over as president for these organizations for his father. His father, Cornelius Vanderbilt, brought the railroad business to his family. Upon his death, William Vanderbilt was the richest man in the world. His success can be attributed to his ability to capitalize on the transportation revolution that swept America years ago, and only remained to expand and grow with the construction of additional rail lines. Savvy with the educated skills of a businessman, he turned the one hundred million that he inherited from his father onto more than one hundred and ninety million dollars in less than nine years. Besides an expert businessman, he also is well known for dabbling in the philanthropic arena with ventures into the formation of a major Opera, donations and fundraising for the Young Men’s Christian Association, or more commonly known as the YMCA, and most importantly the formation of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
If questioned on whether or not the constitution should be amended to outlaw all combinations in restraint of trade, there is no doubt that Vanderbilt’s opinion on the matter would constitute whole hearted opposition. The idea of restricting the capability of single corporations to enjoy trade monopolies would victimize his entire way of life. Money is life to men like vanderbilt, and he would not risk his fortune for the sake of protecting small businesses. From his standpoint, there is no use in enacting policies of this type. In fact he once stated, “The public be damned” in an interview in the Chicago Daily News on October 9, 1882. This stance is indicative of a more self protecting attitude on federal policy,...

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