We’re here to talk about Cornelius, Commodore, Greg, whatever else you want to call him, Vanderbilt. (No one actually called him Greg.) He was one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs this country, and more impressively, this city, has ever seen. He’s responsible for owning the New York Central Railroad. And for being an ancestor of Anderson Cooper. For real, that’s a real thing. Look it up. What’s cooler is how he became so wealthy.
His great-great-grandfather, Jan Aertszoon, came to America as an indentured servant, meaning he had all his teeth, no dentures. (Or something like that.) Cornelius was raised poor on Staten Island. I know, I know, yuck, but let’s look past it. Nonetheless, he persevered, and made a fortune larger than almost anyone had ever seen. He eventually went on to own 10 mansions throughout Manhattan. Unfortunately, they were all knocked down and turned into Juice Generation franchise locations. What we lost in beautiful architecture, we gained in wheatgrass.
Vanderbilt did well for himself, sure. He was rich. But there were richer. This forces one to ask the question, could he have become wealthier had he sported a handcrafted, genuine leather Gramercy bag over his shoulder while building railroads? No one knows for sure, but probably. Don’t make the same mistakes he did. Get one for yourself today.