Stephen Van Rensselaer Net Worth is$68 Billion
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Profession: Politician
Nationality: United States of America
Date of Birth: 1764-11-01
Place of Birth: New York City
Date of Death: 1839-01-26
Place of Death: New York City
Stephen Van Rensselaer net worth: Stephen Van Rensselaer was an American politician, statesman, and landowner who had a net worth equal to $68 billion modern dollars. Stephen Van Rensselaer was Lieutenant Governor of New York and a well known statesman who was also heir to one of the largest estates in the New York region at the time, making him the tenth richest American of all time, based on the ration of his fortune to contemporary GDP. Van Rensselaer was of Dutch decent, and came from a very well off and prestigious family. He was forced to grow up quickly due to his father's untimely death when Van Rensselaer was only five years old, and from that day forward, he was groomed to take over his father's role as lord of the manor. On his 21st birthday, he took possession of the estate that was named "Rensselaerswyck," and comprised close to 1200 square miles. From that day forward he began a long tenure as lord of his family's manor. He granted tenants perpetual leases at moderate rates, which saved would-be landholders from having to pay all of their money up front. This meant that they could invest more in their operations, which led to increased productivity of the entire region. Over time, Van Rensselaer became landlord to over 3,000 tenants and proved a lenient and benevolent landowner at that. His tenants did not have to work in fear of sudden foreclosure or unfair treatment, and thus were able to focus on their work and contribute to the productivity of their community. Van Rensselaer also spent a considerable amount of time in political pursuits; it is said this was rooted in a sense of duty rather than out of ambition. He was a member of the New York State Assembly from 1789-1791 and the New York State Senate from 1791-1796. He was Lieutenant Governor of New York from 1795-1801 and during this tenure, as well as throughout his career, he was known for being a reformer, voting in favor of extending suffrage, and going against much of New York's upper class in this belief. In 1786, Van Rensselaer was made a Major of the United States Militia, and eventually made his way to the War of 1812 where he fought a very unsuccessful battle against the British. After returning from war, he still enjoyed a fair amount of popularity and was a member of the New York State Constitutional Convention, and he eventually became a member of the United States House of Representatives.
Stephen Van Rensselaer III (November 1, 1764 ??? January 26, 1839) was Lieutenant Governor of New York as well as a statesman, soldier, and land-owner, the heir to one of the largest estates in the New York region at the time, which made him the tenth richest American of all time, based on the ratio of his fortune to contemporary GDP. This figure was put at $68 billion, which also makes him the twenty-second richest person in history. He founded the institution which became Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


Van Rensselaer was born in New York City, the eldest child of Stephen van Rensselaer II, the ninth patroon of Rensselaerswyck a large land grant in upstate New York awarded by the Dutch to his ancestor Kiliaen van Rensselaer. His mother was Catharina Livingston the daughter of Philip Livingston, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. His family was very wealthy, and the Van Rensselaer Manor House was a rich childhood environment for the young boy to grow up in. However, his father died in 1769 when van Rensselaer was only five.
Van Rensselaer was raised by his mother and his stepfather, the Rev. Eilardus Westerlo, whom his mother married in 1775. His uncle, Abraham Ten Broeck, administered the Van Rensselaer estate after the untimely death of Van Rensselaer's father. At an early age, Van Rensselaer was raised to succeed his father as lord of the manor.
To this end he was sent off to school, first to Princeton, and in 1782, Van Rensselaer graduated from Harvard University. One year later, at the age of nineteen, he married Margarita Schuyler, the daughter of renowned Revolutionary War general Philip Schuyler. Margarita died in 1801; a year later Van Rensselaer married Cornelia Paterson, daughter of former New Jersey Governor William Paterson.
On his 21st birthday, Van Rensselaer took possession of his family's prestigious estate, close to 1,200 square miles (3,072 km??) in size, named Rensselaerswyck, and began a long tenure as lord of hi

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Stephen Van Rensselaer Latest News

Five Things to Learn About Troy, girls basketball title host

Rensselear Polytechnic Institute, a top engineering school in Troy, has that name. Stephen Van Rensselaer gave the college its start in 1824. 3 - The Collar City. Troy was for many years famous for the manufacturing of shirts and collars. That's why you ...
Posted: March 16, 2017, 5:00 pm

Paid Notice: Deaths VAN RENSSELAER, CHARLES A. III

His famous ancestor, Stephen Van Rensselaer, the last Patroon of Rensselaer Manor, founded Rensselaer Polytech College in Troy, N.Y. in 1824. He is survived by his brother Philip Van Rensselaer of Manhattan, N.Y. and his aunt Lillian Van Rensselaer of ...
Posted: July 15, 1999, 6:00 pm

What happened to the Albany Tunnel?

On March 25, 1836 the New York Assembly passed an act to incorporate the Albany Tunnel Company. Joel B. Nott, Stephen Van Rensselaer (Patroon), James Stevenson, James Vanderpoel and John Townsend incorporated the Albany Tunnel Company. They were ...
Posted: October 8, 2013, 5:46 pm
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