William Henry Vanderbilt was born May 8, 1821 and died December 8, 1885. He was a US Railroad magnate and doubled the Vanderbilt family fortune willed to him by his father, The Commodore. He was the father of George Vanderbilt who built the famous Biltmore Estates in the Asheville NC area.
In 1857, with his father's financial aid, William took over the then bankrupt Staten Island Railroad. In a few years he was able to make the Railroad profitable.
In 1864, Vanderbilt became vice president of NY and Harlem Railroad. In 1865, He became Vice President of the New York and Hudson Railroad. His father, Cornelius, owned both of these railroads. He expanded the New York Central network, bought the Chicago and North Western, New York, Chicago and St Louis, Cleveland and more railroads.
He donated substantial amounts of money to Vanderbilt University, Columbia college of Physicians and Surgeons and more charities.
On 5th avenue in NYC, Vanderbilt built a mansion for his home
His will divided his fortune between his family and donated a substantial amount of money to the YMCA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and various churches and hospitals...