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John Cheever Cowdin

John Cheever Cowdin (1889 - September 16, 1960) (also known as Cheever Cowdin or J. Cheever Cowdin) was an American financier and sportsman who was a head at Standard Capital Corporation of New York City and Chairman of Ideal Chemicals.

In 1936, Cowdin's Standard Capital was part of the lending group who had to exercise their rights to the shares held as loan collateral of the financially strapped Universal Pictures Corp. from Carl Laemmle. Cowdin would serve as Universal's President and Chairman of its Board of Directors until 1946.

A director of Curtiss-Wright, Cowdin was considered a leader in aviation financing, notably associated with fellow financier George Newell Armsby in the investment house of Blair & Co., which merged with BancAmerica to form Bancamerica-Blair in 1931. Through Armsby, Cowdin was associated with aviation pioneer (and friend of Amelia Earhart) Floyd Odlum.

As a prominent American, the TIME magazine reported Cowdin's marriage to Manhattan socialite divorcee, Mrs. Katherine McCutcheon Abbott, in Bristol, Maine during a cruise on his yacht, Surf.

Equine sportsman

J. Cheever Cowdin served as president of Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, New York. In 1941, the track renamed its Junior Champion Stakes Thoroughbred horse race to the Cowdin Stakes in his honor.

He was termed by Esquire Magazine not only one of the best-dressed men of his era, but "one of the Big Four of polo from the time of the great Tommy Hitchcock." The International Polo Club Palm Beach lists him on a 1927 team with W. Averell Harriman and Tommy Hitchcock. He also played in 1925 and possibly as a boy in 1904.


  • "The Art of Wearing Clothes" by George Francis Frazier, Jr., Esquire, Sept. 1960
  • Obituary, New York Times, 16 September 1960


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