Tuesday, August 8, 2017


JFK+50:  Volume 7, No. 2394


New York City (JFK+50) One hundred years ago today, August 8, 1917, the estate of the late Alfred G. Vanderbilt* was filed in surrogate (probate) court here in New York.  It was appraised at a total value of $17,360,522.

The widow, Mrs. Margaret Emerson Vanderbilt, was to receive $5,100,930 of her husband's estate.  Mr. Vanderbilt lost his life as a passenger on the RMS Lusitania which was torpedoed by a German submarine on May 7, 1915.

The power of appointment for a trust fund of more than $4 million was awarded to the couple's son, William.  This fund included a life interest of $400,000 and the Congressional Gold Medal presented to Cornelius Vanderbilt.  $2 million was deducted from the estate per a prenuptial agreement which Margaret agreed to accept in lieu of her "dower right" (gifts or money received at marriage).

*Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, Sr. (1877-1915) was born in NYC the 3rd son of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt.  He graduated from Yale University in 1899 where he was a member of the Skull & Bones.

AGV inherited the bulk of his father's $72 million estate & became director of several railroad & transportation companies.  He built the Vanderbilt Hotel on Park Ave. in NYC.

While on a trip to attend the International Horse Breeder's Association meeting in London, AGV lost his life in the sinking of the Lusitania.  It is believed he gave his life jacket to Alice Middleton despite the fact he could not swim.  AGV was 37 years old at the time of his death.


"Mr. Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt," The Lusitania Resource,

"Vanderbilt's Estate Valued At $17,360,522," The Chicago Daily Tribune, August 9, 1917."

Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt