Cornelius Vanderbilt

Multiple Railroad Owner

American Steamship and Railroad Builder


Attain a position to successfully manage a company.


  • Owned 2 ships at 18
  • Built the Grand Central Terminal
  • Pioneered a business with $100 loan from mother
  • Donated $1,000,000 to Nashville Central University-Renamed to Vanderbilt University
  • Owned 7 railroad lines


  • Dropped out of school at 11 to help father


  • Ferry transport from Stanton Island to New York
  • Sold all boats to get into steamship business
  • Moved business to NYC with $30,000 to start from scratch
  • Offered luxury transportation from New Jersey to Massachusetts
  • Later moved to west coast; gained $1,000,000


  • Obtained New York and Harlem Line
  • Acquired Hudson River Railroad
  • Unified Central with Hudson River Railroad
  • Extended lines to Chicago and Michigan with Michigan Southern, Canadian Southern, and Michigan Central Railroad