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Vanderbilt, William Kissam (1849-1920), railroad capitalist and sportsman  

John F. Stover

Vanderbilt, William Kissam (12 December 1849–22 July 1920), railroad capitalist and sportsman, was born on a farm near New Dorp, Staten Island, New York, the son of William Henry Vanderbilt and Maria Louisa Kissam. He was the grandson of “Commodore” Cornelius Vanderbilt. William studied with private tutors and later attended a school in Geneva, Switzerland. At nineteen he was sent to work in New York City as a clerk and bookkeeper under Charles C. Clarke, the treasurer of the Hudson River Railroad, a line his grandfather had controlled since 1865. The Commodore believed that only hard work would keep his grandsons from becoming spoiled. William worked his way up various clerical grades in Clarke’s office....