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Alva Vanderbilt
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    (January 17, 1853-January 26, 1933)
    Born in Mobile, Alabama
    Born Alva Erskine Smith
    Married to William Vanderbilt (1875-1895)
    Married to Oliver Belmont (1896-1908)
    Mother of Consuelo, William, and Harold Vanderbilt
    She owned nine houses.
    She was a social climber.
    She forced her daughter Consuelo into a loveless marriage with the ninth Duke of Marlborough.
    She told her daughter, 'I do the thinking, you do as you are told.'
    She divorced William Vanderbilt at a time when divorce was unthinkable.
    She said, 'First marry for money, then marry for love.'
    She was an outspoken supporter of women's suffrage.
    She formed the Political Equality League to promote pro-suffrage candidates.
    She supported striking shirtwaist workers.
    To be fair, she believed that marrying Consuelo to an English duke would bring her security and prestige.
    She supported Consuelo's divorce from the Duke of Marlborough and subsequent happy marriage to Jacques Balsan.
    Later in life, she and her daughter grew closer.
    Her funeral had female pallbearers.

Credit: Truffle

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