Biltmore Estate owner dies at his North Carolina home

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Owner Of The Biltmore Estate Dies

- The owner of the iconic Biltmore Estate in North Carolina has died at his home.

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Officials at the Biltmore Co. said William Amherst Vanderbilt Cecil died Tuesday in Asheville. He was 89.

Cecil had a career in finance before returning to Asheville in 1960 in hopes of preserving his childhood home, which was the private estate of his grandfather, George Washington Vanderbilt III.

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Local media outlets reported that Cecil's parents opened the Biltmore house to the public in 1930, but it didn't make a profit until 1969, and then it was only $17. Cecil said, "My dad was very proud of that."

Today, the 8,000-acre (3,238-hectare) estate, French-style chateau and attractions draw more than 1.4 million people annually.

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Biltmore Estate.

(AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)
Biltmore Estate. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

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