Debunking some Vanderbilt myths



The Breakers, Newport RI


Several fallacious books have been the basis of an internet myth that the Vanderbilts are a Bloodline family who continues to dominate America politically and financially since the 19th century. This is very easily disproved.

Today the best known Vanderbilt is the fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt, who at the time of this writing in October 2018, is 94 years old. She was the only child of an alcoholic father who died at age 44 leaving behind a young widow age 20 and one year old Gloria born in 1924..

Gloria’s father had five siblings two of whom died young and unmarried. Of those surviving one was Cornelius Vanderbilt 3rd whose wife squandered his fortune, a sister who married Henry Payne Whitney of horse racing fame whose family was richer than the Vanderbilts, and another sister who married a wealthy Hungarian Count who invented submarine wireless telegraphy and owned several castles with large agricultural estates. Of the Count’s five children, only one lived in America in the Breakers mansion in Newport, RI. The others married Austrian and British nobility and lived in Europe.

Gloria’s grandfather Cornelius Vanderbilt 2nd had seven siblings born between 1845 and 1862, all of whom had great longevity and inherited large fortunes from their grandfather whose wealth derived from railroads. Before WW1 there were no income taxes. America was growing in the industrial revolution following the Civil War. This generation of Vanderbilts belonged to the nouveau riche or new money set which included about fifty families of similar wealth who lived often reckless lives of conspicuous consumption which made them famous. This was called the Gilded Age But none of them belong today among the top 560 richest families who are billionaires.

Cornelius Vanderbilt 2nd and his seven siblings entered New York society as newcomers, not part of the Old Guard whose social leader was Mrs. Astor descended from the colonial elite. New Money often had disagreeable rough edges that the Old Guard wished to exclude from their social events. The younger brother of Cornelius married Alva Smith who was an acceptable socialite in 1875, but it took another eight years before Mrs. Astor was willing to accept them into New York society.

The daughter of Mrs. Alva Vanderbilt was pushed by her mother into marriage with the the 9th Duke of Marlborough, who was 1st cousin of Sir Winston Churchill, whose surname was actually Spencer-Churchill. Winston’s mother was another American socialite from New York. This brought the entire Vanderbilt clan securely into exclusive New York society.

During the pre WW1 era rich American families usually spent part of the year abroad and frequently bought estates there. The dollar was very strong while real estate prices and wages were very low which made it inexpensive to maintain estates. The great wealth of these families opened the door to marriages with European nobility which often resulted in the families residing there permanently.

After WW1 income taxes were imposed which ultimately devastated most of this very rich social class. Death taxes were raised to 80-90 % of estate value after WW2 to pay for the war. Family fortunes were often stuck in trust funds in US banks without the opportunity to shelter money abroad during this period. The Vanderbilts either sold their mansions for a fraction of what it cost to build them or donated them to be used as museums. Mansions were a tax liability as well as costly to maintain. It was not until the 1980’s and 1990’s when mansions began to be built again in America by the NEW ELITE that replaced the former one. The NEW ELITE was predominately Jewish affiliated with Goldman Sachs banking cartel or the MSM media cartel. This is proven by statistics published by a large variety of independent sources which authors of the Bloodline elite myths failed to consult.

To complete the story about the Vanderbilts, the size of Gloria Vanderbilt’s fortune is estimated to be $200 million. Her inherited fortune was greatly diminished by taxation and inflation, but she augmented it by a successful clothing business. She has repeatedly published the statement that all of her assets will go to charity, with nothing to her only surviving child, Anderson Cooper, who has a current income of $11 million per annum salary as a newsman. This is considerably different from the income of Bill Gates which was $11.5 billion in 2017.

There is indeed a small NEW ELITE which now controls American finance and politics, but it is not the elite that existed between the Civil War and WW2. The Vanderbilts are not in the current group of 560 American billionaires (as calculated by Forbes.) In fact no families who had been among the richest Americans before WW2 appear on the Forbes list of billionaires in 2016. This disproves the Bloodline elite theory.

Publicizing myths about Bloodline families draws attention away from the very real NEW ELITE which has demonstrated that it supports globalism and a centralized international financial system.


The Breakers, Newport RI

Cornelius Vanderbilt 2nd built The Breakers, a 70 room summer residence in Newport RI costing $450,000, which today is worth $12.3 million. It was sold in 1972 by his heirs to the Newport Preservation Society for $365,000 with an agreement for the daughter of the previously mentioned Hungarian count to remain in a life tenancy on the third floor. She is Gloria Vanderbilt’s first cousin. However, in 2018 the Preservation Trust broke the agreement and is forcing them to leave the house. This should clarify the current status of the Vanderbilts.


None of the dozens of famous estates built by the Vanderbilt family between 1880 and WW2 remain in its possession except for Biltmore in NC which was turned into a family owned agricultural and hotel resort corporation.