George Henry Vanderbilt Cecil, a member of the famed Vanderbilt family who headed the Biltmore Farms development company for decades, died at home Oct. 19 2020 He was 95 years old.
Cecil, married to Nancy Owen Cecil for 61 years, died peacefully surrounded by his six children. The son of the Hon. John Francis Amherst Cecil and Cornelia Stuyvesant Vanderbilt, and a grandson of both George W. Vanderbilt and of Lord William Cecil, George Cecil was born Feb. 27, 1925 at Biltmore House.
Responsible for some of Asheville's most significant developments and economic boons, most recently as a partner in the largest investment and new jobs announcement in the history of Western North Carolina just this week, Cecil, his children say, should be known as more than a businessman or a Vanderbilt.
After George Vanderbilt's death in 1914, Biltmore Estate was held in trust for George and Edith Vanderbilt's only child, Cornelia Stuyvesant Vanderbilt. Cornelia and her husband were married in 1924 and took over management of the property in 1929.
George Cecil and his younger brother, William, would eventually inherit the Estate and all its holdings, including Biltmore Farms, one of the largest and most successful dairy operations in the Southeast, and Biltmore House, America's largest home.
In 1984, Jack Cecil returned to work alongside his father, serving in various capacities until being named President and CEO of Biltmore Farms in 1992.
Cecil served on numerous boards including Carolina Power & Light, Multimedia Communications, First Union National Bank, UNC Hospitals, North Carolina Medical Care Commission and Memorial Mission Hospital.
Cecil is survived by his six children and their spouses, as well as sixteen grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.more » « less