- "That's your dad? Fathers like him keep me in business baby!"
- —Dr. Charles to Connor about Cornelius
Cornelius was born into the wealthy and influential Rhodes family. His father started the Dolan Rhodes Department Store. He eventually married a woman named Elizabeth with whom he had two children: a son, Connor, and a daughter, Claire. Ten years after the birth of their son, his wife threw herself off the roof of their home. Connor later implies he is convinced that she committed suicide due to her husband's abuse.
Cornelius had an adversarial relationship with his son, never having forgiven him for not going into the family business. To this end he made large donations and secured a position on the executive board of the hospital, in order to exert his influence over his son's work.
In order to secure a donation from him for Connor's Hybrid OR project, Ava Bekker slept with him. She initially denies it when Cornelius reveals it to his son, but Connor eventually comes to believe him after Ava's behavior becomes increasingly erratic.
Cornelius died at Chicago Med after being given an overdose of insulin by Ava in a desperate attempt to bring herself and Connor back together. When she is found out, she commits suicide by slashing her carotid artery.
He meets with his estranged son Connor who has recently returned to Chicago. He tries to convince him to come back to the family business and to put everything that happened behind them. However, Connor refuses to do so.
One of his employees and old family friend is rushed to the Hospital after being impaled by a chandelier. His son, Connor is attending to the patient. He goes up to Cornelius and Claire to ask if Russell's medical bills will be covered as they may be quite expensive. Claire immediately says yes. However, she is shocked when her father refuses to cover medical bills as he says they would have to do it for everyone else if something were to happen, which would mean losing a lot of money. Later on, he tries to force his son away from the case by going up to Sharon. Since his talk with Sharon didn't work, he took his request up to the executive board. The board sends a representative to Sharon's office to try and pressure her into taking Connor off the case, but she stands her ground. When the surgery Connor performs is a success, he tells him he always believed in him.
He donates millions of dollars to the Hospital in order to open the Elizabeth Rhodes Psychiatric Ward in honor of his late wife. The donation is seen by some as his effort to take the spotlight from his son, since he works there, and being the center of attention. Towards the end of the episode, at the inauguration of the ward, he gives a speech honoring his late wife. Connor praises him for his speech, adding that he never told Claire about what really happened the night their mother died.
(to Connor about Gwen Garrett): "Incompetence makes my blood boil, what can I say?"
- Cornelius was an atheist
- His time of death was 17:42
|Season 1 Appearances|
|Season 3 Appearances|
|"Speak Your Truth"||"Nothing to Fear"||"Trust Your Gut"||"Naughty or Nice"||"Mountains And Molehills"|
|"Ties That Bind"
|"Over Troubled Water"||"Lemons and Lemonade"||"On Shaky Ground"||"Down By Law"|
|"Folie à Deux"||"Born This Way"||"Best Laid Plans"||"Lock It Down"
|"Devil In Disguise"|
|"An Inconvenient Truth"||"The Parent Trap"
|"This Is Now"||"Crisis Of Confidence"||"The Tipping Point"|
|Season 4 Appearances|
|"Be My Better Half"
|"when To Let Go"||"Heavy Is The Head"||"Backed Against The Wall"||"What You Don't Know"|
|"Lesser of Two Evils"||"The Poison Inside Us"
|"Play By My Rules"||"Death Do Us Part"||"All The Lonely People"
|"Who Can You Trust"
|"The Things We Do"||"Ghosts in the Attic"||"Can't Unring That Bell"||"We Hold These Truths"|
|"Old Flames, New Sparks"||"The Space Between Us"||"Tell Me the Truth"||"Never Let You Go"||"More Harm Than Good"|
|"Forever Hold Your Peace "||"With A Brave Heart"|