Edwin Corning

Edwin Corning
Lieutenant Governor of New York
In office
January 1, 1927  December 31, 1928
Governor Al Smith
Preceded by Seymour Lowman
Succeeded by Herbert H. Lehman
New York State Democratic Committee Chairman
In office
January 1926  August 1928
Preceded by Herbert C. Pell
Succeeded by M. William Bray
Personal details
Born (1883-09-30)September 30, 1883
Albany, New York
Died August 7, 1934(1934-08-07) (aged 50)
Bar Harbor, Maine
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Louise Maxwell Corning
Relations Parker Corning (brother)
Erastus Corning (grandfather)
Amasa J. Parker (grandfather)
Children Erastus Corning 2nd
Louise Corning
Harriet Corning
Edwin Corning, Jr.
Alma mater Yale University
Profession Business executive
Religion Episcopal

Edwin Corning (September 30, 1883 August 7, 1934) was an American businessman and politician from New York. He was Lieutenant Governor of New York from 1927 to 1928.

Early life

Corning's father was Erastus Corning (18271897) and his paternal grandfather was Erastus Corning. His mother was Mary (Parker) Corning, the daughter of Amasa J. Parker.[1] He was educated at The Albany Academy and the Groton School,[2] and graduated from Yale University in 1906.[3] He was an executive at the Ludlum Steel Company in Watervliet, New York, and became its President in 1910.[4] He was also an officer of the Albany Felt Company, and served on the board of directors of several Albany banks. Corning was also a gentleman farmer, and bred prize winning horses, sheep and cows. In addition, he was a dog breeder, and became known for his champion Irish wolfhounds.

Political career

In the years immediately after World War I, Corning collaborated with Daniel P. O'Connell to create a Democratic organization in Albany that could wrest control of the city from the Republican organization run by William Barnes; their strategy was to run wealthy non-ethnic Protestants like Edwin Corning, William Stormont Hackett, Parker Corning, and Erastus Corning 2nd for major offices including mayor and Congressman to enhance the respectability and credibility of a Democratic organization run by working class Irish-American, Catholic figures like O'Connell.[5] Corning became chairman of the Albany County Democratic Committee in 1912 and chairman of the county committee's executive committee in 1919. In the 1921 contest for mayor, the O'Connell/Corning organization succeeded in electing Hackett, the beginning of Democratic control of city hall that has remained in place ever since.

Corning was Chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee from 1926 to 1928.[6] He was Lieutenant Governor of New York from 1927 to 1928, elected on the Democratic ticket with Governor Alfred E. Smith in 1926.[7] In 1928, when Smith planned to run for President, the Albany Democratic organization intended to run Hackett for governor. After Hackett's death in a car accident, Corning considered making the campaign, but declined because of ill health. After his term as lieutenant governor he retired from his business and political interests.[8]

Death and burial

He died on a hospital operating table in Bar Harbor, Maine during a second leg amputation, which was necessary because of gangrene derived from diabetes.[9] He was buried at the Albany Rural Cemetery in Menands, New York.


On November 25, 1908, he married Louise Maxwell.[10] and their children were Erastus Corning 2nd,[11] Louise Corning,[12] Harriet Corning[13] and Edwin Corning, Jr. (September 26, 1919 January 31, 1964).

Erastus Corning 2nd served as Mayor of Albany for over 40 years.[14]

Edwin Corning, Jr. was serving in the New York State Assembly when he was involved in a 1959 car accident.[15] He resigned his Assembly seat, and died without recovering fully.[16][17][18]

Edwin Corning's brother Parker Corning served as a member of the United States House of Representatives.[19] His grandfathers Erastus Corning and Amasa J. Parker also served in Congress.[20]


  1. James Terry White, The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Volume 25, 1967, page 428
  2. Groton School, The Grotonian, Volume 32, 1915, page 29
  3. Yale University, Catalogue of the Officers and Graduates of Yale University, 1910, page 226
  4. Penton Publishing Company, Steel magazine, Volume 95, 1934, page 153
  5. Kennedy, William (1983). O Albany!: Improbable City of Political Wizards, Fearless Ethnics, Spectacular Aristocrats, Splendid Nobodies, and Underrated Scoundrels. New York, NY: Viking Press. p. 282. ISBN 978-0-14-007416-1.
  6. New York Times, Corning Quits Post as Committee Head, August 15, 1928
  7. Rochester Evening-Journal, Bray Picked by Democrats, August 23, 1928
  8. Frank S. Robinson, Machine Politics: A Study of Albany's O'Connells, 1973, pages 55 to 56
  9. New York Times, Corning Funeral Today: Former Lieutenant Governor's Body Taken to Estate at Albany, August 9, 1934
  10. New York Times, Obituary, Mrs. Edwin Corning, May 25, 1876
  11. Robert H. Jackson, John Q. Barrett, That Man: An Insider's Portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 2004, page 200
  12. New York Times, Miss Louise Corning Engaged to be Wed, May 20, 1935
  13. New York Times, Harriet Corning an Albany Bride, June 13, 1937
  14. Michael Oreskes, Erastus Corning and his Era are Laid to rest in Albany, June 2, 1983
  15. Troy Record, Lester H. Knapp Dies Suddenly, March 4, 1960
  16. Associated Press, Oneonta Star, Lawmaker Hurt, Resigns Post, August 27, 1959
  17. Troy Record, Hudson Seated in Assembly as Legislature Convenes, January 6, 1960
  18. Burial record, Edwin Corning, Jr., Albany Rural Cemetery, accessed January 8, 2013
  19. Schenectady Gazette, Parker Corning Dies at 69, May 25, 1943
  20. New York Secretary of State, New York Manual for the Use of the Legislature, 1927, page 297

External sources

Party political offices
Preceded by
Herbert C. Pell
New York State Democratic Committee Chairman
January 1926 – August 1928
Succeeded by
M. William Bray
Political offices
Preceded by
Seymour Lowman
Lieutenant Governor of New York
January 1, 1927 December 31, 1928
Succeeded by
Herbert H. Lehman
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