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Richest people in the world in the past

June 22nd, 2010 No comments

When people think of wealthy people today, most people think of Bill Gates or Sam Walton. However, there were people in the past whose wealth would marvel that of the richest people today. The men responsible for the creation of the word millionaire lived back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These early businessmen and entrepreneurs were some of the richest and most powerful people of their time. In fact, their wealth is equivalent to if not more than some of today’s richest people. Two of these men were “Commodore” Cornelius Vanderbilt and John Pierpont Morgan. Many people believed that these men were concerned with nothing but their money and wealth; however, nearing the end of their lives this was anything but true. Were these men robber barons or Robin Hoods? While comparing and contrasting these two men, hopefully one will be able to see that in the end they were both some-what like Robin Hoods.

To begin with, Cornelius Vanderbilt was born on May 27, 1794 in New York to Cornelius and Phebe Vanderbilt (Vanderbilt). His family was relatively poor and could not afford very many luxury or treats. Consequently, he did not have the opportunity to go to school and, instead, began helping his father make money to support the family. When he was almost 16 years of age, he borrowed $100.00 from his mother and father and bought a small sailing vessel. With this ship, he started a passenger and freight service . After his first year in business, he raised enough money to pay back the $100.00 that he borrowed along with an additional $1000 to his parents (St. Francis). From this point on, he started building what was to become one of the most prominent sailing businesses in the United States (Vanderbilt). Read more…