Pierre Van Cortlandt (January 10, 1721 – May 1, 1814) was the first Lieutenant Governor of the State of New York.
He was born in New York, the son of Philip Van Cortlandt (1683 -1748) (a son of New York Mayor Stephanus Van Cortlandt) and Catherine DePeyster (a granddaughter of Johannes De Peyster— an ancestor of Abraham DePeyster and Arent Schuyler DePeyster). His great uncle Jacobus Van Cortlandt was mayor of New York City.
Van Cortlandt served briefly in the colonial forces during the American Revolution in spite of efforts by British officials to ensure his loyalty to Great Britain.
Van Cortlandt was Vice President of the 4th New York Provincial Congress which convened as the New York State Constitutional Convention from 1776 to 1777. He lost the election as Lieutenant Governor of New York to George Clinton who was elected both Governor and Lt. Gov. in June 1777, but formally resigned the office of Lt. Gov. when he took office as Governor. Van Cortlandt was elected to the New York State Senate in 1777 and was elected Temporary President of the State Senate, and thus was Acting Lt. Governor. In 1778, Van Cortlandt was elected Lt. Gov. to fill the vacancy, and took office on June 30, 1778. He was re-elected five times, remaining in office until 1795.
Van Cortlandt was married to Joanna, daughter of Gilbert Livingston. He died in New York City.
His eldest son, Philip Van Cortlandt, was a Continental Army General and New York Congressman.
The first wife of his second son (also named Pierre Van Cortlandt) was Catherine daughter of New York Governor and Continental General George Clinton. A brother George Washington Clinton was also a son-in-law to New York Congressman William Floyd. Another sister of Catherine Clinton named Maria was married to Dr. Stephen D. Beekman-a grandson of Pierre Van Cortlandt and Joanna Livingston. A cousin of Catherine was Congressman George Clinton, Jr..
Van Cortlandt Upper Manor House, Cortland County, New York, Cortland, New York, Cortlandt, New York, and Pierre Van Cortlandt Middle School are named after him.