Willie K’s Family

William K. Vanderbilt Jr. (1878-1944) was the great-grandson of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, who built a transportation empire in shipping and railroads. Known to his friends as Willie K, he was the second child and first son of William K. Vanderbilt (1849-1920) and Alva Erskine Smith (1849-1933). He was a railroad executive, an accomplished yachtsman, and a pioneer auto racing driver. At the age of only 26, William K. Vanderbilt Jr. proposed the first international road race to be held in the United States by donating the Vanderbilt Cup.