Cornelius Vanderbilt IV

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Cornelius Vanderbilt IV
Bundesarchiv Bild 102-00023, Cornelius Vanderbilt jr..jpg
Born (1898-04-30)April 30, 1898
Staten Island
Died July 7, 1974(1974-07-07) (aged 76)
Staten Island
Spouse(s) 7 wives including:
Rachel Littleton (m. 1919–27)
Mary Weir Logan (m. 1928–31)
Helen Varner (m. 1935–40)
Maria Feliza Pablos (m. 1946–48)
Patricia Murphy (m. 1948–53)
Anna Bernadetta Needham (m. 1957–60)
Mary Lou Bristol (m. 1967–74)
Children Cornelius Vanderbilt V
Parent(s) Cornelius Vanderbilt III
Grace Graham Wilson

Cornelius Vanderbilt IV (April 30, 1898 – July 7, 1974) was a newspaper publisher.[1]


He was born on April 30, 1898 in Staten Island to Cornelius "Neily" Vanderbilt III and Grace Graham Wilson.

He attended Harstrom's Tutoring School and St. Paul's[disambiguation needed] as a young man, then served in the Ambulance Service during the First World War where he became a driver when a general asked the enlisted men if anyone could drive a Rolls Royce. He was originally assigned to the headquarters of the 27th Division of the New York National Guard and then became an orderly to his father when his father was promoted to brigadier general and assigned to Camp Lewis in Washington state. [2] Vanderbilt was discharged from the army after the war as a private.

In 1922, he joined the newly organized New York Civitan Club.[3][4]

To his parents' dismay, he decided to become a newspaperman. His parents detested the press, seen by them as an invasion of privacy. He worked as a staff member of the New York Herald and later The New York Times. Considered a bohemian by his parents, he was frequently at odds with them.

In the early 1920s, Vanderbilt launched several newspapers and tabloids—the Los Angeles Illustrated Daily News, the San Francisco Illustrated Daily Herald and the Miami Tab among them.[4] Despite claiming to uphold the highest standards of journalistic excellence, the publishings lasted only two and a half years. Vanderbilt Inc. ceased operations with losses amounting to nearly $6 million. Vanderbilt subsequently went to work as an assistant managing editor of the New York Daily Mirror.

In addition to his memoirs, Personal Experiences of a Cub Reporter and Farewell to Fifth Avenue, Vanderbilt authored other books, including a biography of his mother titled Queen of the Golden Age. He made the 1934 anti-Nazi documentary, Hitler's Reign of Terror.[5]

Vanderbilt's 1919 marriage to a well-connected New York socialite named Rachel Littleton ended in divorce in 1927. He was to marry six more times, including to Helen Varner who later married Jack Frye, founder of TWA.[6]

In 1938, Vanderbilt was commissioned in the United States Army and rose to the rank of major in the Intelligence Corps.[7] He was awarded the FBI's Distinguished Service Cross in 1942 and was discharged from the Army in 1943 due to poor health.[8]

In 1945, he became a member of the Rhode Island Society of the Cincinnati by right of his descent from his granduncle, Major Ebenezer Flagg, who was killed in battle in 1781.[7]

Vanderbilt made his home in Reno, Nevada and continued to write and lecture on world affairs. He was a strong supporter of the newly created state of Israel.

He died on July 7, 1974 on Staten Island.[9]


The Living Past of America (written under the name Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jr.), (Crown Publishers, New York City 1955) Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 55-7242


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ New York Times. January 12, 1919.
  3. ^ "Civitans Organize Here" (PDF). The New York Times. 16 June 1922. Retrieved 21 January 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "Vanderbilt", TIME, Monday, May 10, 1926.
  6. ^ Sedona Legend Helen Frye
  7. ^ a b Roster of the Society of the Cincinnati, 1974. p. 22.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Cornelius Vanderbilt Jr., Newsman, Author, Dead; Broke Family Tradition Became a Reporter Very Difficult Time". The New York Times. July 8, 1974. Retrieved 2011-05-28. Cornelius Vanderbilt IV, author and former newspaperman, died here today at his home. He was 76 years old. Mr. Vanderbilt was married seven times. He is survived by his widow, Cornelius Vanderbilt V newspaper=New York Times