According to reports, Cornelius Vanderbilt mistreated his staff by paying them very little and providing them with substandard working conditions. His contemporaries thought of Vanderbilt as a cunning individual who didn’t spend enough time thinking about how other people saw him.
Business tycoon Vanderbilt made his fortune in shipping and railroads during the 19th century. He was a philanthropist and self-made millionaire who was well-known for his gruff demeanour.
One of the wealthiest people in American history, Vanderbilt built the Vanderbilt University. His total assets were worth $105 million at the time of his death in 1877, or roughly 1/87 of the US GDP.