George Washington Vanderbilt II Birthday & Fun Facts

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

Akinwalere Olaleye
Sep 26, 2022 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on May 13, 2022
Edited by Aubree Mosby
Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat
George Washington Vanderbilt II purchased 125,000 acres and decided to make a limestone house in the Biltmore Estate.
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Read time: 5.7 Min

About George Washington Vanderbilt II

George Washington Vanderbilt II was a descendant of Cornelius Vanderbilt, the one who founded the family fortune.
George Washington Vanderbilt II's name was derived from the first president, and his middle name was derived from another founding father (the duke claims to be a direct descendent of President Benjamin Franklin as well). He is primarily known as one of the wealthiest people that ever lived.
His father, George Washington Vanderbilt I, was a well-known railroad tycoon who founded what later would become the Biltmore Estate. The North Carolina manor house has been open to public view as being one of America's most beautiful landmarks since 1930. It took approximately two decades to complete construction on this historic architecture marvel after beginning in 1889 with an initial investment of $1 million dollars. George W. Vanderbilt II was already destined for success at birth. It is estimated that his family collectively owned around 200,000 ac (80,937.12 hc) of land. In total, their North Carolina real estate was worth over $125 million by the time he died in 1974.

George Washington Vanderbilt II Net Worth, Earnings, & Spending Habits

What was George Washington Vanderbilt II’s net worth?

George Washington Vanderbilt used to love collecting art, and he became renowned for his lavish Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. He had a net worth of $200 million by the time he died.
Vanderbilt's descendants still own that humongous property in the United States. The 250-room residence has rarely been seen since the Gilded Age. It is believed that George Vanderbilt was destined to acquire such a posh way of living.

How much did George Washington Vanderbilt II earn per year?

His income per annum is unknown.

Height, Age, & Physical Attributes

How tall was George Washington Vanderbilt II?

Unfortunately, Vanderbilt's height and other attributes are also unknown.

How old was George Washington Vanderbilt II?

Vanderbilt died in 1941 at the age of 51. He was also known as a generous man.

Childhood And Education

George Washington Vanderbilt started his journey from New Dorp, New York on November 14, 1862. His father was William Henry Vanderbilt, and his mother was Maria Louisa Kissam. His father became the leading businessman and philanthropist of that time. Vanderbilt was the youngest child in his family.
His father was also a famous collector of paintings. Both of his parents, especially his father, admired him. He had been to local private schools as well as private tutors. Being an intelligent student, he was always gaining valuable knowledge. He was a big-time reader. He used to maintain a personal journal.
He became the only art collector among the Vanderbilt family. He furthered his formal education at Columbia University and graduated with high honors.

Family, Romance, And Relationships

Who was George Washington Vanderbilt II’s Spouse?

In June 1898, George Washington Vanderbilt II and Edith Stuyvesant Dresser got married in Paris. The ceremony lasted for two days, the first day was the civil service, and the second was a religious ceremony following the French Revolution.
Many critics guessed that the wedding would be a magnificent affair, possibly at George Vanderbilt's Grace Episcopal Church in New York. In spite of this belief, the couple decided to get married in Paris with as little fanfare as possible—as probable for Vanderbilt, that is.
George Washington Vanderbilt II and Edith were first married in a 15-minute ceremony at three p.m. on June 1, by the mayor of Paris at the Town lobby of the Eighth District in the Rue Anjou. In accord with one newspaper article, the couple had to follow all the requirements of French law. The civil ceremony was completed with Vanderbilt family witnesses, baptism certificates, the marriage certificate for George's guardians, and evidence of their American citizenship. The couple inscribed a contract of marriage as a family. However, when George Washington Vanderbilt II died, Edith Stuyvesant Dresser married Peter Goelet Gerry of Rhode Island.

Career And Professional Highlights

Best Known For…

George Washington Vanderbilt II was well-known for his kindness toward his workers on his Biltmore property.
He used to hold a Christmas celebration annually for their kids. He would prepare gifts and decorated trees as well. Other than that, as a parishioner, he paid all the expenses of the Cathedral of All Souls, an Episcopal cathedral he had built. This is located straight across from the Biltmore Estate's main entrance in Biltmore Village. The model village was like a family, and he had made it so for those who had been working on the estate. He made sure that the church's daily compilation could go straight to charity and outreach.
George Washington Vanderbilt II used to travel a lot and visited various parts of the United States and Europe. Even at a young age he had been intrigued with French architecture created by artists. During his time of traveling, he acquired expertise in eight different foreign languages.

Charity Work

George was a generous man who made several charitable efforts and promoted literacy initiatives for locals throughout his life.
Vanderbilt contributed land for Columbia University's Teachers College in New York City and provided funds for the construction and collection of one of the first public bestowing libraries in the country as a young man. The library was ultimately turned into the New York Public Library. This public library, in addition to his extraordinary 23,000-volume private collection, are still safely enclosed at Biltmore. It presents a befitting legacy for one with such an affectionate habit of learning.

What awards did George Washington Vanderbilt II win?

When Vanderbilt was serving as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, he won the Legion of Merit award in 1943. Other than that, none other has been mentioned.

George Washington Vanderbilt II’s Hobbies and Interests

George Washington Vanderbilt II was the youngest boy in his house and his parents' favorite. He was shy and introverted and was hooked on books and other intellectual pursuits as a young man.
George Washington Vanderbilt II was a good reader of philosophical books, and he was an art collector keenly interested in his family's vast art compilation. Coming from well privileged ancestry, he got the chance to travel extensively to foreign countries, and during his expeditions, he learned various languages. His strong aesthetic sense from travelling helped him to design his house in North Carolina with the Châteauesque style, and architect Richard Morris Hunt made that possible. His property earned recognition as a National Historic Landmark.

Other Interesting George Washington Vanderbilt II Facts And Trivia

  • George Vanderbilt II made a railway to make it easier to bring shipments to the site while the Biltmore Estate was built. When the project was finished, the railway was dismantled.
  • When he built Biltmore House, many people still used candles and oil and gas lamps for light. The Biltmore Estate had underwater lights in its indoor pool.
  • The Biltmore Home was wired with AC and DC because nobody knew which would become the norm. The Biltmore House gardens were designed by the same architect who created Central Park - Frederick Wheeler. In his family's farm at Woodland beach and Midland beach on Staten Island, he used to do scientific farming.
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George Washington Vanderbilt II Birthday & Fun Facts Facts

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Place of Birth

Midland Beach


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Edith Stuyvesant Gerry


William Henry Vanderbilt, Maria Louisa Kissam


Cornelius Vanderbilt II, Margaret Louisa Vanderbilt, William Kissam Vanderbilt, Emily Vanderbilt, Florence Adele Vanderbilt, Frederick William Vanderbilt, Eliza Osgood Vanderbilt
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Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Akinwalere Olaleye picture

Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

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