William Amherst Vanderbilt Cecil
William Amherst Vanderbilt Cecil (born August 17, 1928) is the younger son of John Francis Amherst Cecil (1890–1954) and Cornelia Stuyvesant Vanderbilt
Cornelia Stuyvesant Vanderbilt
Cornelia Stuyvesant Vanderbilt was the only child of George Washington Vanderbilt II and his wife Edith Stuyvesant Dresser.-Marriage and family:...

 (1900–1976). He is an operator of the Biltmore Estate
Biltmore Estate
Biltmore House is a Châteauesque-styled mansion near Asheville, North Carolina, built by George Washington Vanderbilt II between 1889 and 1895. It is the largest privately-owned home in the United States, at and featuring 250 rooms...

 through his company, The Biltmore Company
The Biltmore Company
The Biltmore Company in Asheville, North Carolina, owns and operates 8,000 acres of land and business. In 1999, the company formed a new business group, the Biltmore Estate Brands Group....

. Cecil is a graduate of Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

. Upon the death of his mother, William inherited the Biltmore Estate once his brother, George Henry Vanderbilt Cecil
George Henry Vanderbilt Cecil
George Henry Vanderbilt Cecil is the owner and operator of Biltmore Farms. He is the first of two sons born to John Francis Amherst Cecil and Cornelia Stuyvesant Vanderbilt and is the grandson of George Washington Vanderbilt II, the founder of the Biltmore Estate. He was educated in Europe and...

, chose to take charge of the family dairy (known as Biltmore Farms
Biltmore Farms
Founded in 1897 by George Washington Vanderbilt II, Biltmore Farms has evolved from one of the Southeast’s largest independent dairy producer to a community development firm. Son of William Henry Vanderbilt and grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt, George W...

) which was much more profitable at the time. William successfully transformed Biltmore into a popular North Carolina tourist attraction and built a profitable winery on the grounds. He is a direct descendant of both William Henry Vanderbilt
William Henry Vanderbilt
William Henry Vanderbilt I was an American businessman and a member of the prominent Vanderbilt family.-Childhood:William Vanderbilt was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey in 1821...

 and, on his father's side, William Cecil
William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley
William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley , KG was an English statesman, the chief advisor of Queen Elizabeth I for most of her reign, twice Secretary of State and Lord High Treasurer from 1572...

, the chief adviser to Queen Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

 in the 16th century. He is a second cousin of Gloria Vanderbilt
Gloria Vanderbilt
Gloria Laura Vanderbilt is an American artist, author, actress, heiress, and socialite most noted as an early developer of designer blue jeans...


His wife Mary Lee Ryan is a first cousin of former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Jacqueline Lee Bouvier "Jackie" Kennedy Onassis was the wife of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, and served as First Lady of the United States during his presidency from 1961 until his assassination in 1963. Five years later she married Greek shipping magnate Aristotle...

, as their mothers Janet Lee Bouvier and Marion Merritt Lee Ryan were sisters. His son, Bill Jr., is president and CEO of the company today, while Bill Jr.'s wife, Virginia "Ginger" Cecil, oversees the equestrian center at the estate, and is also on the Biltmore board of directors.

External links

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