Born December 24 in Nyack, New York, to Joseph I. Cornell and the former Helen Ten Broeck Storms; the first of four children. His father is in the textile business.
Enters Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. Studies primarily science and language.
Cornell's father dies.
Family moves to Long Island, New York, due to financial troubles resulting from father's death.
Works during the summer in a textile mill in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
Leaves Andover before completing course work and returns to new family home in Bayside, Queens.
Begins job selling wool textiles for the William Whitman Company, Inc., in Manhattan. He is required to travel across the city for his job which leads to his exploration of shops and acquisition of memorabilia. Throughout the 20s he attends dance, theater, and music performances, art exhibitions and films; collects material relating to these arts.
Attends exhibitions of modern French painting and exhibitions organized by Alfred Stieglitz.
Converts to the practice of Christian Science.
Family purchases house on Utopia Parkway in Flushing, New York, where he resides for the rest of his life. Supports his mother and invalid brother, Robert.
Loses job selling textiles due to Depression.
Hired to design textiles at the Traphagen Commercial Textile Studio, New York.
Terminates employment at Traphagen's.
Continues to do freelance work for Vogue and House and Garden, which he had started working on in the late 30's. Pursues writing in View and Dance Index.
Organizes basement studio.
Begins to work at the Allied Control Company in Long Island City, New York.
Terminates employment at Allied Control Company.
Death of his brother Robert.
Death of his mother.
Dies of heart failure at his home in Flushing on December 29.