Vanderbilt, Harold S.

Great-grandson of Commodore Vanderbilt, champion yachtsman and bridge player

Price: $40.00

Description:
(1884-1970) American railroad executive, member of the Vanderbilt family, champion yachtsman and bridge player. 3rd child and 2nd son of William K. Vanderbilt, great-grandson of “Commodore” Vanderbilt. After Harvard College (AB 1907), and Harvard Law (LLB 1910), he joined the New York Central Railroad, of which his father was president. In March 1917 he was commissioned a Lieutenant JG in the Navy Reserve, called to active duty on 9 April as commanding officer of the scout patrol boat USS Patrol #8 (SP-56) on Nantucket patrol. On 20 July he was reassigned to command the Block Island anti-submarine sector and on 17 November the New London anti-submarine sector. On 17 July 1918 he was reassigned to Submarine Chaser Detachment 3 at Queenstown, Ireland. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 21 September and served with Detachment 3 until it was disbanded on 25 November 1918. On his father's death in 1920, he inherited a fortune that included the Idle Hour estate at Oakdale, NY (Long Island) and equity in 8 railway companies. After brother William’s death in 1944, he was the only active member of the Vanderbilt family in the New York Central Railroad, a director and member of the executive committee to 1954. As a boy, he spent part of his summers at the Vanderbilt mansions, Idle Hour, Marble House at Newport, Rhode Island, and later at Belcourt (the Newport mansion of stepfather Oliver Belmont). As an adult, he pursued his interest in yachting, winning 6 "King's Cups" and 5 Astor Cups at 1922-38 regattas. In 1925, he built his own luxurious vacation home at Palm Beach, "El Solano." In 1930, Harold defended the America's Cup in the J-class yacht “Enterprise” to beat Sir Thomas Lipton’s “Shamrock V” and was on the cover of the Sept. 15, 1930, issue of Time magazine. In 1934 he defended the Cup against T. O. M. Sopwith’s “Endeavour II”. In 1937 he defended the Cup a 3rd time in “Ranger”, the last J-class yacht to defend the Cup against T. O. M. Sopwith’s “Endeavour II”. His wife was the 1st woman team member in an America's Cup yacht race, both posthumously elected to the America's Cup Hall of Fame in 1993. Later in life Vanderbilt was Commodore of the New York Yacht Club and was intimately involved in many successful America's Cup defenses. In the fall of 1935, Harold began a study of the yacht racing rules with three friends. Vanderbilt continued to work with the various committees of the North American Yacht Racing Union until finally in 1960 the International Yacht Racing Union (predecessor to the International Sailing Federation or ISAF) adopted the rules that they developed over the previous quarter century. Vanderbilt had a keen interest in the success of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, founded in 1873 through the financial sponsorship of great-grandfather Cornelius Vanderbilt. A longtime member of the University's Board of Trust, he was its president 1955-68, and helped guide the institution through racial integration of the student body, a divisive and explosive issue. In 1962 he provided funding for the Vanderbilt Sailing Club to purchase its first fleet of dinghies, and the University annually offers several scholarships named in his honor. A statue was erected in his honor in front of Buttrick Hall. In 1925, Vanderbilt helped develop the scoring system by which the game of contract bridge supplanted auction bridge in popularity. In 1928, he heavily endowed the Vanderbilt Trophy that goes to the winners of the national team-of-four championship. In 1932 & 1940 he was part of a team that won his own trophy. He also penned several books on the subject of bridge, most notably "The Vanderbilt Club." He also invented the first forcing club bidding system which has perennially dominated world championship play. In 1969, the World Bridge Federation (WBF) made him its first honorary member. When the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) Hall of Fame was inaugurated in 1964, Vanderbilt was one of the first 3 persons elected, his trophy one of the most prized in the game. Signed 3 x 5 card, undated but early-mid 1940s.

Condition: Very good, light uniform toning, slightly pale corners
Type:Signed Card






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