From Frazer's Encyclopedia of Occult Lore (standard reference text on occultism)
n. Heinrich Cornelis, born at Cologne of prosperous lower class parentage, attended University of Cologne but did not receive degrees. He assumed the Latin names Corneilus Agrippa in 1603, possibly to make his lineage seem more noble. He boasted of an international reputation as an astrologer and necromancer, but contemporary observations generally portray him a confidence man and swindler.
Most of his career is unknown, obscured by legends, of which there are many. Agrippa was said to be a practicing Demonic as well as a black magician. Other legends say he was a vampire.
He traded on this reputation by seeking positions as an advisor to royalty and as a university professor. He became involved in Papal politics and was imprisoned by French Authorities in 1534. His health was broken in prison, and he died shortly after his release in 1535.
There are legends that he survived and eventually went to the New World, but there is no supporting evidence. Agrippa's writings include two books on philosophy and religion, De Occulta Philosophia (Occult Philosophy) and De Incertudine et Vanitate Scientarium (The Uncertainty and Vanity of the Arts and Sciences).