Who Are Our Favorite Rich People?
George Clooney wasn’t the only wealthy dude to get married this weekend. According to the Vows section, a Vanderbilt just tied the knot.
Meghan Marie Knutson, a daughter of Debra L. Knutson and Terry K. Knutson of Burnsville, Minn., was married Saturday to Travis Murray Vanderbilt, a son of Alison Platten Vanderbilt and Alfred G. Vanderbilt III of Norwalk, Conn. Jordan B. Hansen, a friend of the couple and a Universal Life minister, officiated … The groom is a descendant of Cornelius Vanderbilt.
He seems like a nice guy, too, despite having been raised in Connecticut.
We all have our favorite rich people: the honorable and now dear departed Mitford sisters, for example (#TeamDecca), or Ebenezer Scrooge, because that’s the best name ever, nobody names ’em like Dickens. Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt — Union hero, transportation magnate, and the 2nd or 3rd wealthiest American ever, bless his whiskered heart — is one of mine. His financial backing allowed Victoria Woodhull, first lady of American awesomeness, to set up shop with her sister Tennie on Wall Street. Behind them, on the office wall, they hung one picture of Jesus and another of “Com.”
Victoria may have been sleeping with him. Tennie certainly was. But Com also respected both sisters a great deal. He was a savvy businessman; he didn’t part with money except where he expected to see profit, and indeed the sisters made about $700,000. Not bad for the first American women stockbrokers. Some of my other favorite rich people:
+ Andrew Carnegie (“I propose to take an income no greater than $50,000 per annum! Beyond this I need ever earn, make no effort to increase my fortune, but spend the surplus each year for benevolent purposes!”)
+ Isabel Allende (“It is a wonderful truth that things we want most in life — a sense of purpose, happiness and hope — are most easily attained by giving them to others.”)
+ Bruce Wayne. But would it kill him to smile?
+ Eleanor Roosevelt, obvs
+ Marcus Licinius Crassus for pure balls-out awfulness (“Crassus also expanded his wealth by trading in slaves and by purchasing whole neighborhoods of Rome as they burned, for drastically less than market value. … Plutarch describes how Crassus’s relationship with a Vestal Virgin came into question at one point, for which the punishment was death. Crassus was acquitted after claiming that he merely courted the woman in an attempt to acquire her villa at below market cost and that carnal lusts never came to mind.”)
Who are your favorites?