Cornelius V.S. Roosevelt

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For the Cornelius V. S. Roosevelt born in 1794, see Cornelius Roosevelt.

Cornelius Van Schaack Roosevelt (October 23, 1915 – August 3, 1991) was a World War II veteran. He was the third child of Theodore "Ted" Roosevelt III and Eleanor Butler Alexander and therefore the grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt. He served in the Navy during World War II and was later an officer in the CIA.[1][2] He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,[1] where he was a member of St. Anthony Hall, and graduated in 1938.

For part of 1960 and 1961 he was head of the Technical Services Division of the CIA.[3] Evan Thomas wrote that Roosevelt was the person who originally suggested the CIA project that attempted to poison Fidel Castro.[4] Roosevelt, as a head of the CIA technical division, supervised Sidney Gottlieb, who brought a biological poison to Congo during the autumn of 1960. To friends and family, he said that his work for the CIA mainly involved creating devices to detect listening devices. He also mentioned that he took part as a subject in the CIA experiments on LSD (part of MKULTRA). Roosevelt at various times in his life worked as an electrical engineer and in the Andes as a mining engineer. He also may have worked in the Philippines. Roosevelt had many lifelong hobbies and interests and published about them: the archaeology of Peru, the history of early sugar processing machines in the Caribbean,[5] Japanese Netsuke carvings, and scuba-diving.[6][7][8] He gave a collection of more than 50 M. C. Escher prints to the National Gallery of Art.[9]


  1. ^ a b "Cornelius V. S. Roosevelt, Ex-C.I.A. Official, 75". New York Times. August 7, 1991. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Richelson (2002), p. 38.
  4. ^ Thomas (1995), pp. 108, 228, 235–236.
  5. ^ Roosevelt (1976).
  6. ^ Richelson, Jeffrey T. (2002). The Wizards of Langley: Inside the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology. Westview. 
  7. ^ Roosevelt, Cornelius Van S. (1976). "1818 Beam Engine and Sugar Mill in Haiti". IA, The Journal of the Society for Industrial Archeology 2 (1): 23–28. JSTOR 40967909. 
  8. ^ Thomas, Evan (1995). The Very Best Men: Four Who Dared the Early Years of the CIA. Simon & Schuster. 
  9. ^