Rhinelander was born in 1903 in Pelham, New York to Adelaide Brady and Philip Jacob Rhinelander. Nicknamed “Kip” (his mother’s maiden name), Rhinelander was the youngest of five children, including four sons and one daughter. The couple’s eldest child, Isaac Leonard Kip, died in infancy.Rhinelander’s mother Adelaide died on September 11, 1915 after sustaining burns when an alcohol lamp on her dressing table exploded.The third son, T.J. Oakley Rhinelander, died in France in 1918 while serving in the 107th Regiment during World War I.
The immigrant ancestor of the Rhinelander family in America was Philip Jacob Rhinelander, a German-born French Huguenot who immigrated to North America in 1686 to escape religious persecution following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. He settled in the newly formed French Huguenot community of New Rochelle in 1686, where he amassed considerable property holdings, the basis for the family’s wealth.The Rhinelanders are considered one of the nation’s earliest shipbuilders. The family also had holdings in real estate and owned the Rhinelander Real Estate Company. By the late 19th century, many members of the family were active in philanthropic causes and were active in New York high society.