Emlen Roosevelt

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Emlen Roosevelt
William Emlen Roosevelt.jpg
Born William Emlen Roosevelt
April 30, 1857
New York City, New York
Died May 15, 1930 (aged 73)
New York City, New York
Employer Roosevelt & Son
Spouse(s) Christine Griffin Kean
(m. 1883; his death 1930)
Children 5, including George, Philip
Parent(s) James A. Roosevelt
Elizabeth Norris Emlen
Relatives See Roosevelt family

William Emlen Roosevelt (April 30, 1857 – May 15, 1930) was a prominent New York City banker who held a wide range of positions in numerous organizations and was a cousin of United States President Theodore Roosevelt. He was president of Roosevelt & Son, the banking firm founded by his father James Alfred Roosevelt.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

William Emlen Roosevelt was born to James Alfred Roosevelt and Elizabeth Norris Emlen.[3] His maternal grandparents were William Fishbourne Emlen (1786–1866) and Mary Parker Norris (1791–1872) and his paternal grandparents were Cornelius Van Schaack Roosevelt (1794–1871) and Margaret Barnhill (1799–1861).[4][5]


He was director of the Chemical Bank of New York, the Gallatin National Bank, and the Astor National Bank,[1] and later sat on the boards of the Grand Hanover and the Bank of New York.[6] He was president of Roosevelt Hospital, founded by his distant cousin James H. Roosevelt.[1] He was an officer of the National Guard for 16 years, major and quartermaster of the First Brigade.[6] Roosevelt became involved in telecommunications companies, formed the Mexican Telegraph Company and Central and South American Telegraph Company, and was eventually director of the International Telephone and Telegraph Company.[6]

Theodore Roosevelt and he had a very close relationship as cousins. Emlen was not interested in politics other than to support his cousin's bids for public office, and Theodore, busy with conservation advocacy, had little time to attend to financial matters. Thus, "Cousin Emlen" was Theodore's financial adviser before, during and after his presidency.[6]

Personal life[edit]

In 1883, he married Christine Griffin Kean (1858–1936),[7] the sister of John Kean and Hamilton Fish Kean, who both served as United States Senators from New Jersey.[3] They were the parents of:[2]

  • Christine Kean Roosevelt (1884–1913), who married James Etter Shelley (1871–1936),[8] in 1909.[9]
  • George Emlen Roosevelt (1887–1963), who married Julia Morris Addison (1888–1937), the sister of James Thayer Addison in 1914. After her death, he married Mildred Cobb Rich (1895–1979).[10]
  • Lucy Margaret Roosevelt (1888–1914), who died of typhoid after a trip in South America.[11]
  • John Kean Roosevelt (1889–1974), who married Elise Annette Weinacht (1896–1972) in 1916.[12][13]
  • Philip James Roosevelt (1892–1941), who married his cousin, Jean S. Roosevelt, the daughter of John Ellis Roosevelt, in 1925.[14][15]

He also owned the James Alfred Roosevelt Estate at Cove Neck in Nassau County, New York.[16]

Roosevelt died at his home, 804 Fifth Avenue in New York City, on May 15, 1930 at the age of 73.[2][17][18] His funeral was held at St. Thomas' Church.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Whittelsey, Charles B. (1902). The Roosevelt Genealogy, 1649–1902. 
  2. ^ a b c Studio, Park Lane (16 May 1930). "W.E. ROOSEVELT, CAPITALIST, DIES; Cousin and Intimate Friend of Former President, Aided Many Philanthropies. HEADED OLD WALL ST. FIRM Was Active in Development of Railroads, Telegraph and Cable--Led in Park Av. Rise. Native of New York City. Active in Cable Mergers. Gave Time and Funds to Charity. Many Benefactions Unknown." The New York Times. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Jordan, John W. (2004). Colonial And Revolutionary Families Of Pennsylvania. Genealogical Publishing Com. ISBN 9780806352398. Retrieved 16 April 2017. 
  4. ^ "JAMES A. ROOSEVELT DEAD; He Expires Suddenly on a Train of the Long Island Railroad. WAS A VICTIM OF APOPLEXY His Nephew Is Col. Theodore Roosevelt of the Rough Riders -- His Long and Prominent Career in This City". The New York Times. 16 July 1898. Retrieved 16 April 2017. 
  5. ^ Hess, Stephen (November 24, 2015). America's Political Dynasties: From Adams to Clinton. Brookings Institution Press. ISBN 9780815727101. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c d Cobb, William T. (1946). The Strenuous Life: The Oyster Bay Roosevelts in Business and Finance. William E. Rudge's Sons. 
  7. ^ "MRS. W. ROOSEVELT DEAD IN HOSPITAL; Widow of Financier a Sister of Former Senator Kean of New Jersey. ACTIVE IN AIDING CHARITY Had Cooperated With Husband in Philanthropic Work -- Headed Institution." The New York Times. 1 March 1936. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  8. ^ "MRS. C. K. R. SHELLEY DEAD.; One of the Five Roosevelt Debutantes of Winter of 1905." The New York Times. 11 February 1913. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  9. ^ "MISS ROOSEVELT A BRIDE". The New York Times. 29 December 1909. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  10. ^ Times, Special To The New York Timesthe New York (4 September 1963). "George Emlen Roosevelt Dies; Leading Banker and Yachtsman; Second Cousin of President Aided Bull Moose Drive-- N.Y.U. Board Chairman Skipper of the Mistress Aided the Long Island". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 April 2017. 
  11. ^ "LUCY M. ROOSEVELT DEAD.; Succumbs to Typhoid After Returning from South America". The New York Times. 4 January 1914. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  12. ^ "J. KEAN ROOSEVELT WEDS.; Colonel's Cousin Marries Miss Elise A. Weinacht in Elizabeth". The New York Times. 23 September 1916. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  13. ^ "John Kean Roosevelt, 84, Dies; Broker and Ex‐I.T.T. Executive". The New York Times. 21 March 1974. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  14. ^ "Died. Philip James Roosevelt, 49". TIME. 1941-11-17. 
  15. ^ "untitled". Time. Time, Inc. 1925-05-18. Retrieved 2008-05-17. 
  16. ^ Virginia L. Bartos (September 2009). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: James Alfred Roosevelt Estate". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  17. ^ "W.E. ROOSVELT LEFT ESTATE TO FAMILY; Undetermined Fortune Givers to His Widow and His Three Sons by His Will. $750,000 GIVEN OUTRIGHT Testament Directs Disposal of Estates at Oyster Bay andon Fifth Avenue." The New York Times. 23 May 1930. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  18. ^ "EMLEN ROOSEVELT LEFT $5,661,248 NET; Cousin and Adviser of the Late President Willed to Widow Life Interest in Residue. $250,000 FOR EACH SON Estate of Mrs. Julia E. Cameron Appraised at $4,027,117 -- Other Wills and Appraisals". The New York Times. 20 December 1932. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  19. ^ "MANY PAY TRIBUTE TO W.E. ROOSEVELT; Funeral of the Banker and Philanthropist Is Held in St. Thomas'. NOTABLES AT THE SERVICES U.S. Senator Hamilton Kean and Col. Theodore Roosevelt, Governor of Porto Rico, Among Them." The New York Times. 18 May 1930. Retrieved 17 April 2017.