There have been great fortunes lost, some quickly and some over generations. Primary reasons for these were mountains of debt, bad investment, lavish spending or even recession. Here’s a list of 5 families who were once fabulously wealthy but have been reduced to paupers now.
When Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt died in 1877 he was worth $100 million, an astonishingly large sum for that time. Vanderbilt, it seems, had borrowed $100 to start the railroad business in 1810. But six generations on, nothing remains of that empire. CNN anchor Anderson Cooper is a sixth-generation descendant who declared in a Howard Stern show that his mother had told him that there is no trust fund waiting for him. The only remnant of the once-fabled Vanderbilt name is the Vanderbilt University.