Skull and Bones is the most well known of the secret societies based at Yale University, in New Haven, Connecticut. It was founded in 1832 by William Huntington Russell and Alphonso Taft, two students who were not admitted into Phi Beta Kappa.  The first Skull and Bones class, or “cohort,” was in 1833. The society’s current membership rosters and activities are not disclosed to the public. It is a “senior society,” which inducts only upcoming seniors, for the year prior to their graduation.
Skull and Bones is known by many names, including The Order of Death,” The Order,” The Eulogian Club,” and Lodge 322. Initiates are most commonly known as Bonesmen, Knights of Eulogia, and Boodle Boys. The women who have recently become members would be known as Boneswomen, Ladies of Eulogia, and Boodle Girls.
Its corporate name is the Russell Trust Association. In 1999 it had assets of $4,133,246. It owns Deer Island, one of the Thousand Islands in the waterway between the United States and Canada, which was given to the Order by one of its early benefactor families.
The society sometimes inspires a fanatical loyalty. Members have been known to stab the Bones insignia into their flesh to keep it on them while showering or swimming.
1 Known members
2 The U.S. branch of a German secret society
3 Bones and U.S. Education
4 Bonesman socialization: core families of “Knights” versus “Barbarians”
5.1 Nicknames of selected Bonesmen
6 Deer Island
7 Skull and Bones members
8 Cultural references
10 External links
Both two-term U.S. President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry (Democratic candidate who lost the 2004 U.S. Presidential election to Bush) are members of Skull and Bones. Bush declined to talk about their common membership in the Order of Death during his February 9, 2004 appearance on NBC’s Meet The Press.
Bush: “It’s so secret I can’t talk about it.”
Tim Russert: “What does that mean for America? The conspiracy theorists are gonna go wild.”
Bush: “I’m sure they are, I don’t know, I haven’t seen their webpages yet. (laughs)”
In another interview, when Kerry was in turn asked what he could reveal about Skull and Bones, Kerry said: “Well not much, because it’s a secret… Sorry, I wish there was something I could manifest…” and then changed the subject.
Bush reportedly appointed 11 Skull and Bones members to his Administration in his first term.
The U.S. branch of a German secret society
The Order has a private group portrait taken for every new cohort of fifteen. It is always posed in the same manner, showing human bones and a grandfather clock at 8 p.m.
Some people, like the first rigorous outside researcher of the secret society, the late Dr. Antony Sutton (PhD, Stanford, economics), say that Skull and Bones is a U.S. chapter of an early 1800s German secret society. Those who have broken into the Bones “Tomb” (or those members who are disaffected from the Bones experience and wanted to report on them) describe many German-language pictures and themes on the walls and in daily use. Several disaffected Bonesmen testimonies on this point can be read in Alexandra Robbins’s book on Skull and Bones.
Co-founder of the order, William Huntington Russell spent some time studying in Germany. It has been suggested that while he was there he was initiated into a secret society with a skull and bones for its emblem. Some even claim that he was initiated into a continuation of the Illuminati, and granted authorization to start a Yale chapter. Bonesman Daniel Coit Gilman, immediately upon returning from Europe himself in 1855, spent the next 14 years almost exclusively around Yale University. William Huntington Russell and Daniel Coit Gilman incorporated Skull and Bones in 1856 under the name of The Russell Trust, with Gilman as treasurer and Russell, the co-founder, as President. This is the period in which Bonesman benefactor Miller started funneling large funds, building projects, and real estate purchases all around New Haven and the “Tomb” for The Russell Trust.
On Skull and Bones being a branch of an international secret society, official material from Skull and Bones supports this theory. First, an invitation to a thirteenth-anniversary describes a “Jubilee Commemoration of the History of Our Establishment in New Haven”. Second, a historical address that has found its way from the tomb states “The Eulogian Club: An Historical Discourse Pronounced before our Venerable Order on the Thirtieth Anniversary of the Foundation of our American Chapter in New Haven July 30th 1863 Thursday evening. By Timothy Dwight of 1849…” Third, mentioned in the Kris Millegan book on Skull and Bones, according to information acquired from a break-in to the “tomb” (the Skull and Bones meeting hall) in 1876, “Bones is a chapter of a corps in a German University… General Russell, its founder, was in Germany before his Senior Year and formed a warm friendship with a leading member of a German society. He brought back with him to college, authority to found a chapter here.” Fourth, a 1933 Bones document refers to the “birth of our Yale chapter”. It is also suggested that when Bonesmen refer to the order as “Lodge 322” they are acknowledging that they are but a chapter of a secret society.
On the particular German heritage of Skull and Bones, one could cite the Nazi memorbilia there as well. From a report published by Stephen M.L. Aronson in Fame magazine [Vol. 2(2), August 1989] discussing a “sort of a quick canter through the premises” in 1979 by Yale females invited by a “dissident” member:
“There were tons of rooms, a whole chain of them. They were a couple of bedrooms, and there was this monumental dining room with different rolls of Skull and Bones songs suspended from the ceiling. And there was a President Taft memorabilia room filled with flyers, posters, buttons — the whole room was like a Miss Haversham’s shrine. And a big living room with a beautiful rug. And this big, huge, expensive-looking ivory carving in the hallway. The whole thing was on a very medieval scale. The most shocking thing–and I say this because I do think it’s sort of important–I mean, President Bush does belong to Skull and Bones, everyone knows that–there is, like a little Nazi shrine inside. One room on the second floor has a bunch of swastikas, kind of an SS macho Nazi iconography. Somebody should ask President Bush about the swastikas in there. I mean, I don’t think he’ll say they’re not there. I think he’ll say ‘Oh, it wasn’t a big deal, it was just a little room.’ Which I don’t think is true and which I wouldn’t find terribly reassuring anyway. But I don’t think he’d deny it altogether, because it’s true. I mean, I think the Nazi stuff was no more serious than all the bones that were around, but I still find it a little disconcerting.
Other German heritage connections can be seen in Skull and Bones ‘financing,’ particularly in one of its early benefactors, Bonesman George Douglas Miller (1847-1932). Miller gave his inherited Deer Island to Skull and Bones. Miller was closely associate with a German connected Bonesman, William Walter Phelps (S&B, 1860), the son-in-law and estate trustee of John Sheffield, benefactor of Sheffield Scientific School (SSS) and later U.S. Ambassador to both Austria and Germany.
First, Phelps’s connections were of a high financial nature. He was a Director of: the Rockefeller/oil linked National City Bank; the Second National Bank of New York; the U.S. Trust Company; nine railroads and several other firms. Researcher Kris Millegan surmises that Miller was a conduit of others’ monies and property to the Skull and Bones organization because Miller’s own claims to wealth are sketchy and hard to document in their origin. Additionally, Phelps’s connections were of a high political nature: he was a U.S. Congressman from the age of 34 (1873-74, 1883-89), the original pick to organize the 1880 campaign for the Republican Party for President James A. Garfield (which is a study of high level odd shenanigans); U.S. Ambassador to Austria for a short while (1881-82), and U.S. Ambassador to Germany (1889-93). Phelps was later appointed as Judge for New Jersey Court Errors and Appeals (1893-94). Throughout his high political career he was simultaneously a member of the Yale Corporation (1872-92). Showing the continuous high level Austrian/German connections in Skull and Bones, there were back-to-back Bonesman in the Austrian ambassador position. It should be noted that co-founder of Skull and Bones, Alphonso Taft, was ambassador to Austria-Hungary in 1882–immediately after fellow Bonesman W. W. Phelps.
Another Germanic high political connection is Bonesman Charles Seymour (S&B, 1908), who served as chief of the Austro-Hungarian Division of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace, and as the U.S. delegate on the Romanian, Yugoslavian, and Czechoslovakian Territorial Commissions in 1919–which would put him only in his late 20s when he was redrawing the map of Europe. Additionally, after that high level position in World War I, he got the almost the same position in World War II: the same person was the Chairman of the U.S. Postwar Planning Commission (1943-45). Bonesman Seymour’s high level positions may be due to him being a close friend of ‘Colonel’ Edward M. House. While at Yale as a history professor, Bonesman Seymour was the curator to the Edward M. House Collection.
Further evidence of the widespread chapter bases of Skull and Bones in the United States surfaced in a short history of the Penn State Chapter of Skull and Bones. The Penn State version started in 1912. It taps just like the Yale version, though only 12 juniors. There is additionally another tapping junior society of extreme secrecy at Brown University. According to the Penn State Chapter of Skull and Bones, “[i]n the 1947-48 academic year, under the leadership of President Lawrence G. Foster, Jr., Skull and Bones tried to establish a national governing body for the numerous local Active chapters extant in the United States. The Society sent letters to 30 colleges and universities with the proposed national as a goal. Their efforts were not successful due to the fact that other chapters did not want to conform to national guidelines on who could or would be tapped, how to initiate, and what would be the purpose of each local chapter. Thus today there are several similarly named chapters across the U.S. that are not affiliated.”  The locations of the other 28 chapters of Skull and Bones in the U.S. are unknown at this time.
Bones and U.S. Education
The connections that Bonesman George Miller had with high finance and high politics through Bonesman William Walter Phelps (S&B, 1860) helped ‘steer’ U.S. Education to take root in a German-Prussian vein as well. W. W. Phelps was son-in-law and estate trustee of John Sheffield, benefactor of Sheffield Scientific School (SSS), founded in 1854 as Yale Scientific School and renamed in 1861 after Joseph E. Sheffield. In the history of American education, SSS at Yale University was the origin of the “science departments” within the Calvinist religious origin of Yale, and furthermore is cited as a seed altering European classicial educational institutions toward German empirical, experimental, and materialist sciences education and liberal arts. SSS as a different model of education for the United States really expanded because of Skull and Bones memberships channelling a thirty year monopoly of all of Connecticut’s Land-Grant College Act funds into SSS from 1862-1892, while other Connecticut instituitons were denied funding. It helped that Bonesman Augustus Brandegee (S&B, 1849) was speaker of the Connecticut State Legislature in 1861 when the state bill to accept the federal land grant script was aired and aimed at Bones-connected SSS exclusively afterwards. (His son, Bonesman Frank Bosworth Brandegee (S&B, 1885), like his Bonesman father, was another high Connecticut politican. He committed suicide. His appointed replacement was another Yalie Hiram Bingham III who had two Bonesmen in his family.) No other educational institution in Connecticut was allowed Land Grand College Act funds until 1893. SSS was absorbed by Yale in the 1950s; the SSS trust still controls its “Yale” land however.
The same “land grant grab” occurred in the educational history of New York State, with federal land grant monopolies being steered exclusively toward Cornell University. There, Bonesman Andrew Dickson White (S&B, 1853), in the next Bones cohort after Daniel Coit Gilman (S&B, 1852)–thus Gilman had input in sponsoring White for Skull and Bones the next year–was a key activist in this connected operation. Bonesman White later became the first President of Cornell. (Continuing the Germanic connections of Skull and Bones, Bonesman White was Minister to Germany (1879–1881), followed consecutively by previously mentioned Bonesman W. W. Phelps [Ambassador to Austria (1881-82); then to Germany (1889-93)], then co-founder Bonesman Alphonso Taft [German Ambassador, 1882]. Later, after being Minister to Germany, Bonesman White was Ambassador to Germany (1897–1902) as well).
This is somewhat of a Bones theme: the Order using public monies and positions for its own objectives.
Bonesman Daniel Coit Gilman helped to found the institutions and frame the curricula for the University of California system. Other Bonesman were connected with the organizing of the University of Michigan System, and the University of Wisconsin system. (At the link, note the decidely Masonic ‘all seeing eye’ seal of the University of Wisconsin.) More educational details are available in the Antony Sutton book on Skull and Bones.
The treasurer of the Russell Trust, Bonesman Daniel Coit Gilman, had a brother who married the daughter of another Bonesman–Chemistry Professor Benjamin Silliman, Jr. (S&B, 1837) of SSS at Yale, who invented petroleum cracking. His father, Benjamin Silliman Sr. was a Chemistry Professor (like his son, who took his father’s place at Yale) who had earlier established a high marriage alliance into the last British appointed Governorship family of Connecticut, the Trumbulls. Bonesman Daniel Coit Gilman’s uncle Bonesman Henry Coit Kingsley (S&B, 1834) was Yale Treasurer, appointed from 1862-1886–capable immediately of further rarifying Bones-steered Land-Grand College Act funds toward preferred projects the moment it was passed, after it was written up by Gilman for the purpose.
From the start of 1862 and the steered windfall of the Land Grant funds, Bonesman have dominated the funding frameworks of the Yale Treasury. Starting with Bonesman Gilman’s Bonesman uncle Kingsley in 1862, the period of Yale University Treasurers from 1862-1978, except for two who served 36 years, was exclusively occupied by members of Skull and Bones–a 116 year stretch. However, the one non-Bonesman serving longest, 32 years, hailed from a top Bones family.
The Skull and Bones Treasurers of Yale, 1862-1978
1. Henry Coit Kingley, S&B 1834, Treasurer 1862-87 (D. G. Gilman’s uncle; Gilman even wrote the land grant application for Yale, which was quickly authorized; monies passed to his uncle, treasurer of Yale.)
2. Timothy Dwight, S&B 1849, acting Treasurer 1887-89, Yale Pres. 1886-99
3. Morris Tyler, not Bones, Treasurer 1900-03, Yale grad. 1870 with G. D. Miller
4. Thomas Lee McClung, S&B 1892, Treasurer 1904-09 (Bones U.S. Treas as well 1909-12, appointed by Bones U.S. President Taft)
5. Arthur T. Hadley, S&B 1876, acting Treas. 1909-10, Yale Pres. 1899-1921
6. George Parmly Day, not Bones, Treasurer 1910-42 [9 members of Day family in S&B though]
7. Lawrence G. Tithe, S&B 1916, Treasurer 1942-54, Director/Partner Brown Brothers Harriman
8. Charles Stafford Gage, S&B 1925, Treasurer 1954-66, and with Bones family firm Mathiesson Chemical
9. John E. Ecklund, S&B 1938, Treasurer 1966-78, Partner in Bones-dominanted New Haven lawfirm Dana & Wiggin
Bonesman socialization: core families of “Knights” versus “Barbarians”
The Skull and Bones tomb
Starting in 1833, each year one of the responsibilities of the cohort of fifteen seniors is to select fifteen new junior members to replace them. This is called being “tapped” (selected) for the society. To be tapped for Skull and Bones is seen by many Yale students as the highest honor that can be attained, though some occasionally refuse. For a year, Bones members meet at least weekly and conduct long self-analysis of each other and critique. This is aimed at creating a long term bond between them as they leave the university instead of during their stay at the university. Kris Millegan writes that one of the rooms is uncannily arranged like a room arranged for an entrance into an higher level of the Bavarian Illuminati . There are human skulls and bones in the “tomb”, which is illegal under Connecticut law. Bones members are reported to be forced to reveal their innermost secrets and their “sexual biography” to one another. It has been suggested that this may be used for blackmailing. In the tomb with each other for one year, members dine off a set of Hitler’s silverware according to “dissident” Bones members interviewed by Alexandra Robbins for her book Secrets of The Tomb [p. 5], consuming expensive gourmet meals. Members are given new code names. The members call themselves “Knights,” and simultaneously call everyone else in the world at large “barbarians”. Another dissociation is that clocks in the Bones “tomb” run intentionally five minutes ahead of the rest of the world, to give the members an ongoing sense that the Bonesmen’s space is a totally separate world–and a world just a bit ahead of the curve of the rest of the “barbarians” outside.
Partially, “tapping” is a response to visible or anticipated excellence, thus it could be considered meritocratic. However, since a great many members of the membership in this secret society are drawn over and over from the same families as the “core” of the group, it is a typical nested secret society with “porch brethren” on the outside making a power network for those in the inner administrative levels of the secret society. The top repetitive families in Skull and Bones are known because in 1985 a disgruntled Skull and Bones member leaked rosters to a private researcher, Antony C. Sutton. Many people believe that the membership of Skull and Bones had been totally secret. However the membership for each year is held in the Yale University archives.
The membership rosters cover the years 1833-1985, with some additional years. This original leaked 1985 data was kept privately for over 15 years, as Sutton feared that the xeroxed pages could somehow identify the member who leaked it. The information was finally reformatted as an appendix in the book Fleshing out Skull and Bones by editor, researcher, and writer Kris Millegan, who published it in 2003.
The data shows that certain families have been well represented, and that these happen to be related to each other as well—such as the Cheney family, Taft family, Whitney family, Walker family, and Adams family. Other subordinate members are often related to these families. Other core family names are common. However, not all initiates in these families are as interrelated as the above group. This second category of core families covers such names as Smith, Allen, Brown, Clark, White, Day, Johnson, Jones, Miller, Stewart, Thompson, Cheney, Taft, Williams.
For an example of the predilection of certain core families being embedded in Skull and Bones (or vice versa), here are the top 15 families in Skull and Bones with 10+ Members (over 1833-1985, with occasional later years available):
Their house is located on Yale’s campus at 64 High Street. The property is registered under RTA Incorporated. A search of the records of the state of Connecticut shows that the officers of RTA Incorporated all appear on lists of Skull and Bones members from the 1960’s and 1970’s. The building itself has no windows on the outside and the exterior walls are made of concrete. The inside walls are drywall/plaster and the floors are carpeted. It has a heating system, but no air conditioning.
The building itself is about 5,968 square feet on the first floor. There is also a basement of similar size. It was built in 1900. New Haven police, as mentioned in the Robbins’ book, say that the Bones tomb has an underground entrance connected to Yale University’s steam tunnel system, allowing covert entrance or escape unobserved.
On an initiate’s first day in Bones they are assigned a name, which they will be known as for the rest of their life. Names that are regularly used are: Magog, which is assigned to the initiate with the most experience with the opposite sex; Gog, which is assigned to the least sexually experienced; Long Devil, for the tallest; Boaz, for varsity American football captains; and Little Devil for the shortest. Bonesmen have often assumed names of mythological and legendary figures.
Nicknames of selected Bonesmen
William Howard Taft: Magog
F. O. Matthiessen: Little Devil
Averell Harriman: Thor
Henry Luce: Baal
Briton Hadden: Caliban
Archibald MacLeish: Gigadibs
McGeorge Bundy: Odin
Potter Stewart: Crappo
George W. Bush: Temporary
William F. Buckley: Cheevy
Anson Phelps Stokes: Achilles
Reuben Holden: McQuilp
Charles Seymour: Machiavelli
Donald Ogden Stewart: Hellbender
John Kerry: Long Devil
Deer Island (44°21′41″N, 75°54′24″W) is a privately owned island retreat owned by Skull and Bones’ Russell Trust Association. It is on the Saint Lawrence River two miles (3 km) north of Alexandria Bay. Among the island’s facilities are two tennis courts, two houses, a bungalow, a boathouse, and an amphitheater. It serves as a getaway for the present members of Skull and Bones, and is often used to host reunions to which family members of Bonesmen are welcome. It can also be hired out for personal use, but membership of Skull and Bones as well as upkeep is required. The island is governed and maintained by the Deer Island Club, membership of which is only available for initiates of Skull and Bones. They say in their articles of association, the purpose of the club is: to promote the social intercourse of its members, and to provide for them facilities for recreation and social enjoyment; and to this end, to purchase, hold and convey any property, real or personal, which may be necessary or convenient therefor; to maintain a Club House for the use and benefit of its members; and to adopt by-laws and generally to exercise all the usual powers of corporations not prohibited by said statutes.
According to Skull and Bones researcher (and member of Scroll and Key, another secret society at Yale) Alexandra Robbins, who interviewed many Bonesmen in her book about the group:
The forty-acre [162,000 m²] retreat is intended to give Bonesmen an opportunity to “get together and rekindle old friendships.” A century ago the island sported tennis courts and its softball fields were surrounded by rhubarb plants and gooseberry bushes. Catboats waited on the lake. Stewards catered elegant meals. But although each new Skull and Bones member still visits Deer Island, the place leaves something to be desired. “Now it is just a bunch of burned-out stone buildings,” a patriarch sighs. “It’s basically ruins.” Another Bonesman says that to call the island “rustic” would be to glorify it. “It’s a dump, but it’s beautiful.” 
One factor which may explain the change would be the arrival of increasingly widespread airplane travel by the 1930s. Thus, there was an increase of spatial choices given for “escaping from the summer heat”. However, in the mid 19th century through the early 20th century, it was certainly a much more prevalent and elegant Bones “getaway” private island. There are many pictures of the island and its buildings in Kris Millegan’s edited book Fleshing out Skull and Bones (2003).
Skull and Bones members
The Skull and Bones published membership lists until 1971, which were kept at the Yale Library. The following list of noteworthy Bonesmen is compiled from those lists.
List of Known Members
William Huntington Russell (1832), Founder of the Skull and Bones
Alphonso Taft (1832), Co-Founder of the Skull and Bones
Simeon Eben Baldwin (1861), Governor and Chief Justice, State of Connecticut (son of Roger Sherman Baldwin)
Jonathan Brewster Bingham (1936), U.S. Senator
David Boren (1963), U.S. Senator
Amory Howe Bradford (1934), general manager for the New York Times
Augustus Brandegee (1849), Speaker of the Connecticut State Legislature in 1861
Frank Bosworth Brandegee (1885), U.S. Senator
James Buckley (1944), U.S. Senator
William F. Buckley
William F. Buckley, Jr. (1950), founder of National Review, author, CIA covert agent
McGeorge Bundy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs under Kennedy and Johnson, National Security Advisor, Professor of History
George Herbert Walker Bush (1948), 41st President of the United States, Vice President under President Ronald Reagan, Director of the CIA, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Ambassador to the United Nations, Ambassador to China
George W. Bush (1968), 43rd President of the United States, Governor of Texas
Prescott Bush (1916), father of George H.W. Bush
John Chafee (1947), U.S. Senator, Secretary of the Navy and Governor of Rhode Island; father of U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee
Thomas Cochran (1904), JP Morgan partner
John Sherman Cooper (1923), U.S. Senator and member of the Warren Commission
Alfred Cowles (1913), Cowles Communication
John Thomas Daniels (1914), founder of Archer Daniels Midland
Russell W. Davenport (1923), editor of Fortune Magazine, created Fortune 500 list
F. Trubee Davison (1918), Director of Personnel at the Central Intelligence Agency
Henry P. Davison (1920), senior partner, JP Morgan’s Guaranty Trust
William Henry Draper III (1950), chair of United Nations Development Programme and Import-Export Bank of the United States
Timothy Dwight (1849), Yale acting Treasurer 1887-89, Yale Pres. 1886-99
Timothy Dwight V (1849), President of Yale College
John E. Ecklund (1938), Treasurer 1966-78, Partner in Bones-dominanted New Haven lawfirm Dana & Wiggin
William Maxwell Evarts (1837), U.S. Secretary of State, Attorney General, and Senator (grandson of Roger Sherman)
Robert D. French (1910)
Charles Stafford Gage (1925), Yale Treasurer 1954-66, and with Bones family firm Mathiesson Chemical
Evan G. Galbraith (1950), Ambassador to France and managing director of Morgan Stanley
Artemus Gates (1918), President of New York Trust Company, Union Pacific Railroad, TIME-Life and Boeing Company
Daniel Coit Gilman (1852), Attache to the American legation at St. Petersburg; President of the University of California, and of John Hopkins University
William Henry Gleason (1853), Lt. Governor of Florida, founder of Eau Gallie, Florida, lawyer and land speculator
Robert Gow (1955), president of Zapata Oil
Briton Hadden (1920), Cofounder of Time-Life Enterprises
Arthur T. Hadley (1876), Yale acting Treas. 1909-10, Yale Pres. 1899-1921
Averell Harriman (1913), U.S. Ambassador and Secretary of Commerce, Governor of New York, Chairman and CEO of the Union Pacific Railroad, Brown Brothers & Harriman and the Southern Pacific Railroad
John Heinz II (1931), heir to H. J. Heinz Company, father of U.S. Senator John Heinz
Pierre Jay (1892), first chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
John Kerry (1966) U.S. Senator and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee
Henry Coit Kingsley (1834), Yale Treasurer 1862-87 (D. G. Gilman’s uncle; Gilman even wrote the land grant application for Yale, which was quickly authorized; monies passed to his uncle, treasurer of Yale.)
Charles Edwin Lord (1949), U.S. Comptroller of the Currency
Winston Lord (1959), Chairman of Council on Foreign Relations, Ambassador to China, and Assistant U.S. Secretary of State
Henry Luce (1920), Cofounder of Time-Life Enterprises
Archibald MacLeish (1915), poet and author
F. O. Matthiessen
Thomas Lee McClung (1892), Yale Treasurer 1904-09 (Bones U.S. Treas as well 1909-12, appointed by Bones U.S. President Taft)
David McCullough (1955), U.S. historian
George Douglas Miller
William Walter Phelps
Gifford Pinchot (1889), first Chief of U.S. Forest Service, under President Theodore Roosevelt
Dino Pionzio (1950), CIA Deputy Chief of Station during Allende overthrow
John Rockefeller Prentice (1928), grandson of John D. Rockefeller, pioneer of artificial insemination in farm animals as a means of improving their genetic pool
Percy Rockefeller (1900), Director of Brown Brothers Harriman, Standard Oil and Remington Arms
Benjamin Silliman, Jr
Frederick W. Smith (1966), founder of FedEx
Harold Stanley (1908), founder of investment house of Morgan Stanley
Donald Ogden Stewart
Potter Stewart (1936), U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Anson Phelps Stokes
William Howard Taft (1878), 27th President of the United States, Chief Justice of the United States, Secretary of War
Lawrence G. Tithe (1916), Yale Treasurer 1942-54, Director/Partner Brown Brothers Harriman
Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt (1898), son of Cornelius Vanderbilt II and brother of Gertude Vanderbilt Whitney
Morrison R. Waite (1837), U.S. Supreme Court Justice
George Herbert Walker, Jr. (1927), financier and co-founder of the New York Mets
Frederick E. Weyerhaeuser (1896), scion of the Weyerhaeuser Paper Co.
Andrew Dickson White (1853), first President of Cornell University
Edward Baldwin Whitney (1878), New York Supreme Court Justice
Harry Payne Whitney (1894), husband of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, investment banker
William Collins Whitney (1863), U.S. Secretary of the Navy and New York City financier
Hugh Wilson (1909)
Dean Witter, Jr. (1944), founder of the investment house Dean Witter & Co.
In 2000, Universal Pictures released The Skulls starring Joshua Jackson and Paul Walker capitalizing on the conspiracy theory element surrounding the organization. Rising seniors at Yale are inducted into the secret society and, after witnessing a cover-up of a murder, one character tries to defect from the group. The society is portrayed as having intergroup tensions, cover-ups, lavish lifestyles, and corrupt business deals.
Fictional character Charles Montgomery Burns of The Simpsons was supposedly a member of the Skull and Bones before his graduation from Yale in 1914. In The Canine Mutiny, an episode from the eighth Simpsons season, Burns identifies Laddie the collie as a potential Boneshound.
Millegan, Kris, ed. Fleshing Out Skull and Bones: Investigations into America’s Most Powerful Secret Society. Walterville, OR: Trine Day, 2003. ISBN 0972020721
Sutton, Antony C. America’s Secret Establishment: An Introduction to the Order of Skull & Bones. Walterville, OR: Trine Day, 2003. ISBN 0972020705
Tarpley, Webster, et al. George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography. Washington, D.C.: Executive Intelligence Review, 1992. ISBN 0943235057. Available free on the web: http://www.tarpley.net/bushb.htm
Robbins, Alexandra. Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power. Back Bay Books, 2003. ISBN 0316735612
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