Rest in Peace Gloria

Since I started this site back in 2008, Gloria Vanderbilt has been the top search result that leads people here.  Since I research the genealogy and history of the Vanderbilt family, I have certainly learned much about Gloria and her family during the years.  Gloria passed away today at 95 years old.  Born February 20, 1924, to Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt and Gloria Morgan, her great-grandfather, William Henry Vanderbilt, was the oldest son of the Commodore.

The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
02 Mar 1924, Sun • Page 88. Courtesy of


Gloria Vanderbilt as photographed by Gordon Parks for Life Magazine – July 1954. Source: Life Image Collection.

You can view her family tree on my Vanderbilt Surname Project site.  Rest in peace Gloria. May you live forever with your ancestors.


Obituary: Cornelius Vanderbilt DeForest

From the November 10, 1887 issue of the New York Times

Cornelius V. DeForest died yesterday morning from paresis, at his residence, 17 East Forty-seventh-street.  He was born 70 years ago in this city, and from the time he reached manhood was for many years prominent in New York’s business community.  For a long period he was engaged in the oil trade, and upon giving it up became purchasing agent of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad, an office he held for many years.  For the last three years he had been a special partner in the Stock Exchange firm of Colbron, Chauncye & Co.  Ill-health, however, had kept him out of active business for many months.  Mr. De Forest leaves a widow, a daughter, Mrs. William T. Colbron, and a son, C. Eugene De Forest.   Funeral services will be held tomorrow afternoon at 2 o’clock.  The burial will be in Greenwood.

Death of Mrs. W.K. Vanderbilt

While browsing an issue of the Tennessean newspaper today, I just happened to see this obituary…

From The Tennessean – Nashville, TN
21 Apr 1940

NEW YORK, April 20 – UP – Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt, Sr., widow of the grandson of the founder of the Vanderbilt’s dynasty and long a reigning queen in New York society, died today in a New York hospital. She was noted for her philanthropies, particularly in behalf of war sufferers, and during the World War was one of the Red Cross’ most active workers. For the contribution, she was made a knight of the Legion of Honor by France in 1919 and received the rank of officer in the legion 12 years later.

The former Anne Harriman, she was one of eight children of the late Oliver Harriman Sr., and made her social debut in the 1880s. Her first marriage was to Samuel Stevens Sands, Jr., who was killed a few years later while riding in the Meadowbrook Hunt, on Long Island. Her second husband was Lewis Morris Rutherfurd and after his death she and Vanderbilt were married in London in 1903.

Vanderbilt, the grandson of Commodore Cornelius Vanderiblt, had received the bulk of the fortune left by his father, William H. It was after the death of Mrs. William Astor that Mrs. Vanderbilt took over leadership in the so called “400.” Her daughters, Barbara and Margaret Rutherfurd, were debutanes then. Subsequently Barbara married Cyril Hatch and Margaret wed Ogden L. Mills. Both marriages ended in divorce.

As late as 1935, Mrs. Vanderbilt was listed by Paris dressmakers as one of the world’s 20 best dressed women.