Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty

Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty - Anderson Cooper

Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


New York Times bestselling author and journalist Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

When eleven-year-old Cornelius Vanderbilt began to work on his father's small boat ferrying supplies in New York Harbor at the beginning of the nineteenth century, no one could have imagined that one day he would, through ruthlessness, cunning, and a pathological desire for money, build two empires--one in shipping and another in railroads--that would make him the richest man in America. His staggering fortune was fought over by his heirs after his death in 1877, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. Though his son Billy doubled the money left by "the Commodore," subsequent generations competed to find new and ever more extraordinary ways of spending it. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt was forced out of The Breakers--the seventy-room summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, that Cornelius's grandson and namesake had built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the tycoon who started it all.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their outsized influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of old Manhattan to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, and all the way to modern-day New York, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American dynasty unlike any other.

Written with a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


New York Times bestselling author and journalist Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

When eleven-year-old Cornelius Vanderbilt began to work on his father's small boat ferrying supplies in New York Harbor at the beginning of the nineteenth century, no one could have imagined that one day he would, through ruthlessness, cunning, and a pathological desire for money, build two empires--one in shipping and another in railroads--that would make him the richest man in America. His staggering fortune was fought over by his heirs after his death in 1877, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. Though his son Billy doubled the money left by "the Commodore," subsequent generations competed to find new and ever more extraordinary ways of spending it. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt was forced out of The Breakers--the seventy-room summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, that Cornelius's grandson and namesake had built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the tycoon who started it all.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their outsized influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of old Manhattan to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, and all the way to modern-day New York, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American dynasty unlike any other.

Written with a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.

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CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


CNN anchor and New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

Few names are as synonymous with wealth and glamour as "Vanderbilt."

When Cornelius Vanderbilt, the teenaged son of a ferryman in New York Harbor who was born at the end of the eighteenth century, decided to go into business on his own, few would have believed that within six decades he would epitomize American wealth, magnate of a shipping and railroad empire that made him the richest man in the country.

In the wake of his death in 1877, Cornelius's heirs bitterly fought over his estate, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. The generations of Vanderbilts who followed lived lives of unimaginable excess, steeped in tides of success and failure. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt left the Breakers--the summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, his grandson and namesake Cornelius Vanderbilt II built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the Commodore.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson, Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their remarkable influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of Staten Island to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American family unlike any other.

Drawing on never-before-seen documents and told from a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


New York Times bestselling author and journalist Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

When eleven-year-old Cornelius Vanderbilt began to work on his father's small boat ferrying supplies in New York Harbor at the beginning of the nineteenth century, no one could have imagined that one day he would, through ruthlessness, cunning, and a pathological desire for money, build two empires--one in shipping and another in railroads--that would make him the richest man in America. His staggering fortune was fought over by his heirs after his death in 1877, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. Though his son Billy doubled the money left by "the Commodore," subsequent generations competed to find new and ever more extraordinary ways of spending it. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt was forced out of The Breakers--the seventy-room summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, that Cornelius's grandson and namesake had built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the tycoon who started it all.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their outsized influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of old Manhattan to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, and all the way to modern-day New York, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American dynasty unlike any other.

Written with a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.


New York Times bestselling author and journalist Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty--his mother's family, the Vanderbilts.

When eleven-year-old Cornelius Vanderbilt began to work on his father's small boat ferrying supplies in New York Harbor at the beginning of the nineteenth century, no one could have imagined that one day he would, through ruthlessness, cunning, and a pathological desire for money, build two empires--one in shipping and another in railroads--that would make him the richest man in America. His staggering fortune was fought over by his heirs after his death in 1877, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. Though his son Billy doubled the money left by "the Commodore," subsequent generations competed to find new and ever more extraordinary ways of spending it. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt was forced out of The Breakers--the seventy-room summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, that Cornelius's grandson and namesake had built--the family would have been unrecognizable to the tycoon who started it all.

Now, the Commodore's great-great-great-grandson Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their outsized influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family's empire, basked in the Commodore's wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of old Manhattan to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, and all the way to modern-day New York, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American dynasty unlike any other.

Written with a unique insider's viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.

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