Cornelius Vanderbilt passed away in 1877 and the entire company was turned over to William. It was only upon his death that Cornelius gave his son William the ultimate compliment by turning over the entire company. William greatly expanded the railroad operations including the New York Central System. He acquired the Chicago and Northwestern, the Nickel Plate, serving Chicago and Saint Louis, the Cleveland Railroad, the Columbus Railroad, the Cincinnati Railroad, the Indianapolis Railroad and many other smaller lines. By the time he retired in 1883 because of ill health he had doubled the Vanderbilt fortune, all in a period of less than ten years. The Vanderbilt railroad business then consisted of ten railroads, a sleeping car company and the Hudson River Bridge. William passed away on December 8, 1885, two years after his retirement. He was born on May 8, 1821 and since 1841 he had been happily married to Maria Louisa Kissam [1821-1896], the daughter of a Presbyterian minister. William was only 64 years old when he died. He had been rather frail during his life as opposed to his more burly father. In his will William was more equitable in dividing his fortune than his father had been. He left bequests to his still living siblings, to his own children and to others. He also left bequests to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the YMCA, and to several churches and hospitals. The William Henry Vanderbilt estate was valued at about $200 million at the time of his death. Based on the national gross domestic product per capita ratio at the time of Vanderbilt's death, and the present time, a ratio of about 260, Vanderbilt's estate would be valued at about $52 billion dollars in today's terms. William Henry and Louisa Vanderbilt had eight children, consisting of: Cornelius Vanderbilt II [1843-1899] Margaret Louisa Vanderbilt-Shepherd [1845-1924] William K. Vanderbilt [1849-1920] Emily Thorn Vanderbilt [1852-1956] Florence Adele Vanderbilt-Twombley [1854-1952] Frederick W. Vanderbilt [1856-1938] Eliza Osgood Vanderbilt-Webb [1860-1936] George W. Vanderbilt [1862-1914] Note that Emily Thorn Vanderbilt lived to the centenarian age of 104, and Florence Vanderbilt Twombley lived to the advanced age of 98 years.