Harold Fowler McCormick

Harold Fowler McCormick

Harold Fowler McCormick (1872–1941) was chairman of the board of International Harvester Company. McCormick was the youngest son of Cyrus McCormick, inventor and manufacturer of the mechanical reaper.


McCormick graduated from Princeton University in 1895. Later that year on November 26, he married Edith Rockefeller, daughter of Standard Oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, in Chicago, Illinois.

In 1909, along with John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and Frederick T. Gates, he became the third inaugural trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation, which was finally established in 1913. He became chairman of the board of International Harvester Company in 1935, replacing his older brother Cyrus McCormick, Jr. He was also a trustee of the Rockefeller-created University of Chicago.

After divorcing Edith, McCormick married opera singer Ganna Walska. During the transition period between these two women, McCormick sought to fortify himself by undergoing an operation by Dr. Serge Voronoff, a surgeon who specialized in transplanting animal glands into aging men who feared for their potency during the 1920s. [Grossman, Ron. (March 31, 1985) Chicago Tribune "Lost lake shore drive: Mourning an era; Mansions of rich and famous yield to giant condos." Section: Real estate; Page 1.] McCormick ended up divorcing Ganna in 1931. He resided at 1000 Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.

Orson Welles claimed that McCormick's lavish promotion of his second wife's opera career—despite her renown as a terrible singer—was a direct influence on the screenplay for "Citizen Kane", wherein the titular character does much the same for his second wife. (Samuel Insull, Thomas Edison's private secretary and later president of a utilities holding empire that included Commonwealth Edison, built what is now the Lyric Opera in Chicago for his mistress and was another influence, along with actresses Hope Hampton and Marion Davies.)

Children with Edith Rockefeller

#John Rockefeller McCormick (1896–1901)
#Editha McCormick (1897–1898)
#Harold Fowler McCormick, Jr. (1898–1973)
#Muriel McCormick Hubbard (1903–1959)
#Mathilde McCormick Oser (1906–1947)

Further reading

*Chernow, Ron. "Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr." New York: Warner Books, 1998.


"In memory of Harold F. McCormick, May 2, 1872-October 16, 1941." (Harvester World) Issue v.22, no.1, January 1942.

ee also

*John D. Rockefeller
*Rockefeller family
*Rockefeller Foundation
*International Harvester Company

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