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Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt
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    (October 20, 1877-May 7, 1915)
    Born in New York City, New York
    Great-grandson of ‘Commodore’ Cornelius Vanderbilt
    Inherited approximately $50 million
    Owned extensive holdings in railroads and real estate
    Died in the sinking of the Lusitania
    He was estranged from his older brother, Cornelius ‘Nelly’ Vanderbilt III, due to a dispute over their inheritances.
    His divorce from Elsie French, who accused him of adultery with Agnes Ruiz, the wife of the Cuban attaché, was a major society scandal (1908).
    He decided not to travel on the Titanic, thus avoiding history’s most famous sinking only to die in the second-most famous sinking.
    His cancellation was so last minute that some early accounts of the Titanic disaster listed him as a casualty.
    When Nelly was left ‘only’ $1 million in their father’s will, he offered his older brother $6 million from his own share of the estate so Nelly’s inheritance would equal the amount left to their sisters.
    He first met Agnes Ruiz when he saved her life by grabbing the reins of the runaway horse she was on.
    During the sinking of the Lusitania, he and his valet calmly helped women and children into the lifeboats.
    He promised to find an extra life vest for a young mother with a baby.
    When he was unable to find one, he gave her his own life vest, despite being unable to swim.

Credit: C. Fishel

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