David Rockefeller Dead at 101

Rockefeller grandson was a billionaire philanthropist
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 20, 2017 11:08 AM CDT
David Rockefeller Dead at 101
In this May 15, 2007, file photo, David Rockefeller participates in the C40 Large Cities Climate Summit in New York.   (Richard Drew)

David Rockefeller, the billionaire businessman and philanthropist who was the last in his generation of one of the country's most famously philanthropic families, died Monday, the AP reports. He was 101. Rockefeller died in his sleep at his home in Pocantico Hills, New York, per a spokesman. He was the grandson of Standard Oil co-founder John D. Rockefeller and the youngest of six children born to John D. Rockefeller Jr. With the passing of his siblings, he became the guardian of his family's fortune and head of a sprawling network of family interests, both business and philanthropic, that ranged from environmental conservation to the arts. Aspects of the Rockefeller brothers' upbringing became famous, including the 25-cent allowance, portions of which had to be set aside for charity and savings, and the inculcation that wealth brings great responsibility.

Two of his brothers held elected office: Nelson Rockefeller served as the governor of New York, hungered for the White House, and briefly served as vice president. Winthrop Rockefeller was a governor of Arkansas. David Rockefeller, however, wielded power and influence without ever seeking public office. Among his many accomplishments were spurring the project that led to the World Trade Center; he also ran Chase Manhattan, now JPMorgan Chase, for 35 years. And unlike his other brothers, John D. III and Laurance, who shied from the spotlight and were known for philanthropy, David Rockefeller embraced business and traveled and spoke widely as a champion of enlightened capitalism. Rockefeller maintained the family's patronage of the arts, and his philanthropy and other activities earned him a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998. Rockefeller and his wife, the former Margaret McGrath, married in 1940 and had six children. (More David Rockefeller stories.)

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