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David Rockefeller

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Title: David Rockefeller  
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Subject: Rockefeller family, Members of the Council on Foreign Relations, Nelson Rockefeller, Museum of Modern Art, Jay Rockefeller
Collection: 1915 Births, Alumni of the London School of Economics, American Art Collectors, American Autobiographers, American Bankers, American Billionaires, American Centenarians, American Chief Executives, American Chief Executives of Financial Services Companies, American Memoirists, American Military Personnel of World War II, American People of English Descent, American People of German Descent, American People of Scotch-Irish Descent, American Philanthropists, Dudley–winthrop Family, Giving Pledgers, Grand Croix of the Légion D'Honneur, Harvard University Alumni, Jpmorgan Chase Employees, Living People, Members of the New York Yacht Club, Members of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group, Nelson A. Rockefeller, New York Republicans, Order of the White Elephant, People Associated with the Museum of Modern Art, People from Manhattan, Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients, Recipients of the Legion of Merit, Recipients of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Rockefeller Center, Rockefeller Family, Rockefeller Foundation, University of Chicago Alumni
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David Rockefeller

David Rockefeller
David Rockefeller (second from right) shaking hands with Jawad Hashim (left) in 1980
Born (1915-06-12) June 12, 1915
New York City, New York, U.S.
Residence Sleepy Hollow, New York, U.S.
Education A.B. in 1936 & Ph.D. in 1940
Alma mater Harvard University
London School of Economics
University of Chicago
Occupation Banker, statesman
Years active 1940–present
Net worth US$3.0 billion (as of March 2015)[1]
Spouse(s) Margaret McGrath
(m. 1940–1996; her death)
Parent(s) John Davison Rockefeller Jr.
Abigail Greene Aldrich
Relatives See Rockefeller family

David Rockefeller (born June 12, 1915) is an American banker who served as chairman and chief executive of Chase Manhattan Corporation. He is the oldest living member of the Rockefeller family and family patriarch since July 2004. Rockefeller is also the only surviving child of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and the only surviving grandchild of John D. Rockefeller and Laura Spelman Rockefeller.


  • Early life 1
  • Career at the Chase Bank 2
  • Political life 3
  • Policy groups 4
  • Rockefeller patriarch 5
    • Wife and children 5.1
  • Wealth 6
    • Residences 6.1
  • Non-governmental leadership positions 7
  • Awards 8
  • Further reading 9
  • Notes 10
    • Bibliography 10.1
  • External links 11

Early life

David Rockefeller was born in New York City, New York, and grew up in a nine-story house at 10 West 54th Street, then the largest private residence in the city. He is the youngest of six children born to financier John Davison Rockefeller Jr. and socialite Abigail Greene "Abby" Aldrich. John Jr. was the only son of Standard Oil co-founder John Davison Rockefeller Sr. and schoolteacher Laura Celestia "Cettie" Spelman. Abby was a daughter of Senator Nelson Wilmarth Aldrich and Abigail Pearce Truman "Abby" Chapman. David's five elder siblings were Abby (1903–1976), John III (1906–1978), Nelson (1908–1979), Laurance (1910–2004), and Winthrop (1912–1973). The home contained rare, ancient, medieval and Renaissance treasures collected by his father—with some, such as the Unicorn Tapestries, held in an adjoining building at 12 West 54th Street. On the seventh floor was his mother's private modern art gallery. The house was subsequently donated by David's father as a site for a sculpture garden that is now part of the Museum of Modern Art.

He spent much time as a child at the family estate Richard Evelyn Byrd (whose Antarctic expeditions had been funded by the family), and the aviator Charles Lindbergh.[2] Summer vacations were spent at the Eyrie, a 100-room house in Seal Harbor on the southeast shore of Mount Desert Island, in Maine. The house was demolished by the family in the early 1960s.

Rockefeller attended the experimental Lincoln School at 123rd Street in Harlem. The school was the brainchild of Abraham Flexner, who had structured the institution after the educational philosophy of John Dewey. It opened in 1916 and was operated by the Teachers College at Columbia University, with crucial funding in its early years from the Rockefellers' General Education Board, a philanthropic educational institution later rolled into the Rockefeller Foundation.

In 1936, Rockefeller graduated cum laude from Harvard University. He also studied economics for a year at Harvard and then a year at the London School of Economics (LSE). It was at LSE that he first met future President John F. Kennedy (although he had earlier been his contemporary at Harvard) and once dated Kennedy's sister Kathleen.[3] During his time abroad, Rockefeller briefly worked in the London branch of what was to become the Chase Manhattan Bank. Having returned to the United States to complete his graduate studies, in 1940 he received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. His dissertation was entitled Unused Resources and Economic Waste.

After completing his studies in Chicago, he became secretary to New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia for eighteen months in a "dollar a year" public service position. Although the mayor pointed out to the press that Rockefeller was only one of 60 interns in the city government, his working space was, in fact, the vacant office of the deputy mayor.[4]

From 1941 to 1942, Rockefeller was assistant regional director of the United States Office of Defense, Health and Welfare Services. After war broke out, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and entered Officer Candidate School in 1943; he was ultimately promoted to captain in 1945. During World War II he served in North Africa and France (he spoke fluent French) for military intelligence setting up political and economic intelligence units. For seven months he also served as an assistant military attaché at the American Embassy in Paris. During this period, he would call on family contacts and Standard Oil executives for assistance.[5]

Career at the Chase Bank

In 1946, Rockefeller joined the staff of the longtime family-associated Chase National Bank. The chairman at that time was Rockefeller's uncle JPMorgan Chase.

Rockefeller started as an assistant manager in the Foreign Department. There he financed international trade in a number of commodities, such as coffee, sugar and metals. This position also maintained relationships with more than 1,000 correspondent banks throughout the world. He served in other positions and became president in 1960. He was chairman and chief executive of Chase Manhattan from 1969 to 1980 and chairman until 1981. He was also, as recently as 1980, the single largest individual shareholder of the bank, holding 1.7% of its shares.[6]

In 1954, Rockefeller became chairman of the committee charged with deciding the location of the bank's new headquarters. The following year his decision to erect the building in the Wall Street area was accepted; it was subsequently seen as a decision that directly revived the City's downtown financial district. In 1960 the headquarters was completed under his direction at One Chase Manhattan Plaza, on Liberty Street in downtown Manhattan, directly across from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. At 60 stories, it was at that time the largest bank building in the world; it also had, five floors below ground, the largest bank vault then in existence.

In the 1960s Rockefeller and other businessmen formed the Chase International Advisory Committee (IAC) which by 2005 consisted of twenty-eight prominent and businessmen from 19 nations throughout the world, many of whom were his personal friends. Rockefeller subsequently became chairman until he retired from that position on the IAC in 1999. After the Chase's merger with J. P. Morgan, this committee was renamed the International Council, and contains prominent figures such as Gianni Agnelli (a longtime associate, who spent thirty years on the Committee), John Loudon (Chairman of Royal Dutch-Shell), C. Douglas Dillon, David Packard and Henry Ford II.[7]

Under his term as CEO, Chase spread internationally and became a central pillar in the world's financial system; Chase has a global network of correspondent banks that has been estimated to number about 50,000, the largest of any bank in the world. In 1973, Chase established the first branch of an American bank in Moscow near the Kremlin, in the then Soviet Union. That year Rockefeller traveled to China, resulting in his bank becoming the National Bank of China's first correspondent bank in the United States.

In November 1979, while chairman of the Chase Bank, Rockefeller became embroiled in an international incident when he and Henry Kissinger, along with John J. McCloy and Rockefeller aides, persuaded President Jimmy Carter through the United States Department of State to admit the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, into the United States for hospital treatment for lymphoma. This action directly precipitated what is known as the Iran hostage crisis and placed Rockefeller under intense media scrutiny (particularly from The New York Times) for the first time in his public life.[8]

Political life

In a private capacity Rockefeller has interfaced with every United States president since Eisenhower and has even at times served as an unofficial emissary on high-level diplomatic missions. President Jimmy Carter offered him the positions of United States Secretary of the Treasury and Federal Reserve Chairman but he declined both instead preferring a private role. He at an earlier point declined an offer from his brother Nelson to appoint him to Robert F. Kennedy's Senate seat after Kennedy was assassinated in June 1968, a post Nelson also offered to their nephew John Davison "Jay" Rockefeller IV.[9] On account of his personal, political, and professional connections and his family name, Rockefeller has been able to act as bridge to various interests around the world, including Saddam Hussein and Communist leaders such as Fidel Castro, Nikita Khrushchev, and Mikhail Gorbachev.

In Henry Kissinger, Rockefeller found a political operative with an international and domestic perspective similar to his. They first met in 1954, when Kissinger was appointed a director of a seminal Council on Foreign Relations study group on nuclear weapons, of which David was a member.[10][11] The relationship developed to the point that Kissinger was invited to sit on the board of trustees of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Rockefeller consulted with Kissinger on numerous occasions, as for example in the Chase Bank's interests in Chile and the possibility of the election of Salvador Allende in 1970,[12] and fully supported his "opening of China" initiative in 1971 as it afforded banking opportunities for the Chase Bank.[13]

Though a lifelong Republican and party contributor, like his father in the dynastic line, he is a committed member of the moderate "Rockefeller Republicans" that arose out of the political ambitions and public policy stance of his brother Nelson. In 2006 he teamed up with former Goldman Sachs executives and others to form a fund-raising group based in Washington, Republicans Who Care, that supported moderate Republican candidates over more ideological contenders.[14]

Rockefeller also reportedly has connections to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). As well as knowing Allen Dulles and his brother John Foster Dulles—who was an in-law of the family[15]—since his college years,[16] it was in Rockefeller Center that Allen Dulles had set up his WWII operational center after Pearl Harbor, liaising closely with MI6 which also had their principal U.S. operation in the Center.[17] He also knew and associated with the former CIA director Richard Helms, as well as Archibald Bulloch Roosevelt Jr., a Chase Bank employee and former CIA agent whose first cousin CIA agent Kermit Roosevelt Jr. was involved in the Iran coup of 1953.[18] Also, in 1953, he had befriended William Bundy, a pivotal CIA analyst for nine years in the 1950s, who became the Agency liaison to the National Security Council, and a subsequent lifelong friend.[19] Moreover, in Cary Reich's biography of his brother Nelson, a former CIA agent states that David was extensively briefed on covert intelligence operations by himself and other Agency division chiefs, under the direction of David's "friend and confidant", CIA Director Allen Dulles.[20]

Additionally, he serves as the only member of the Advisory Board for the Bilderberg Group.[21][22]

Policy groups

David Rockefeller (left) with Eleanor Roosevelt, Trygve Lie, and Thomas J. Watson in 1953
 In this photo, David Rockefeller takes the podium as President Lyndon Johnson looks on in the White House Rose Garden on June 15, 1964 to announce the launch of the International Executive Service Corps.
David Rockefeller launches IESC in White House Rose Garden in 1964.

Throughout his life, Rockefeller has participated in and even created a number of policy groups aimed at responding to domestic and international concerns. In 1947, Rockefeller was invited to join the board of the [26] In 1992, he was selected as a leading member of the Russian-American Bankers Forum, an advisory group set up by the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to advise Russia on the modernization of its banking system, with the full endorsement of President Boris Yeltsin.[27]

On the world stage, influenced by the globalist perspective of his father, Rockefeller involved himself in a number of policy organizations focused on improving international relations. Rockefeller began a lifelong association with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) when he joined as a director in 1949, the youngest member appointed to that position yet. He would later become head of the nominating committee for future membership and after that the chairman of this foreign policy think-tank.[28] In 1965, Rockefeller and other businessmen formed the Council of the Americas to stimulate and support economic integration in the Americas. In 1992, at a Council sponsored forum, Rockefeller proposed a "Western Hemisphere free trade area", which subsequently became the Free Trade Area of the Americas in a Miami summit in 1994. His and the Council's chief liaison to President Bill Clinton in order to garner support for this initiative was through Clinton's chief of staff, Mack McLarty, whose consultancy firm Kissinger McLarty Associates is a corporate member of the Council, while McLarty himself is on the board of directors.[29]

Displeased with the refusal of the Bilderberg meetings to include Japan, Rockefeller helped found the Trilateral Commission in July 1973.[30] Zbigniew Brzezinski, the National Security Advisor under Carter and fierce advocate for international cooperation, became the inaugural United States director.

The Clinton Administration had close to a dozen Commission members, including Clinton himself; both

Business positions
Preceded by
George Champion
Chase CEO
Succeeded by
Willard C. Butcher
  • The Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC): Selected Biography Contains an overview of his life, achievements and membership in organizations.
  • An Entrepreneurial Spirit: Three Centuries of Rockefeller Family Philanthropy This monograph (pdf, 2005) contains a history and philosophy of Rockefeller philanthropy, organized by the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), set up by various family members in 2002.
  • Rockefeller Brothers Fund Official Web site Details the regular conferences held by the Fund at the family estate of Pocantico.
  • Partnership for New York City (PFNYC) Web site: The Founder Brief biographical details on the PFNYC Web site, originally founded and chaired by Rockefeller in 1979.
  • CFR Web site—Continuing the Inquiry: The Council on Foreign Relations from 1921 to 1996 Contains details of both David's and the Rockefeller Foundation's long associations with the Council.
  • Born to be Mild A review of Memoirs in the New York Times.
  • The Power and the Privilege A review of Memoirs in Business Week.
  • Appearances on C-SPAN

External links

  • Bird, Kai (1998). The Color of Truth: McGeorge Bundy and William Bundy; Brothers in Arms. New York:  
  • Echols, Alice (1989). Daring to Be Bad: Radical Feminism in America: 1967–1975. Minneapolis, MN:  
  • Grose, Peter (1996). Continuing the Inquiry: The Council on Foreign Relations from 1921 to 1996. New York: Council on Foreign Relations. 
  • Harr, John Ensor; Johnson, Peter J. (1988). The Rockefeller Century: Three Generations of America's Greatest Family. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 
  • Hoffman, William (1971). David: Report on a Rockefeller. New York:  
  • Isaacson, Walter (2005). Kissinger: a Biography. New York: Simon & Schuster. 
  • Perloff, James (1988). The Shadows of Power: the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Decline. Wisconsin:  
  • Reich, Cary (1996). The Life of Nelson A. Rockefeller: Worlds to Conquer 1908–1958. New York:  
  • Rockefeller, David (2002). Memoirs. New York: Random House. 
  • Srodes, James (1999). Allen Dulles: Master of Spies. Washington:  
  • Wilson, John Donald (1986). The Chase: The Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A., 1945–1985. Boston, MA:  
  • Zweig, Phillip L. (1995). Wriston: Walter Wriston, Citibank, and the Rise and Fall of American Financial Supremacy. New York:  


  1. ^ a b "The World's Billionaires #603 David Rockefeller, Sr.". Forbes. Retrieved March 24, 2015. 
  2. ^ Rockefeller (2002), pp. 28–29, 323
  3. ^ "The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys Before 1960". Retrieved November 3, 2013. 
  4. ^ Harr & Johnson (1988), p. 392
  5. ^ Rockefeller (2002), p. 113
  6. ^ "The Change at David's Bank", Time, September 1, 1980.
  7. ^ Rockefeller (2002), pp. 205–209
  8. ^ Rockefeller (2002), pp. 356–375
  9. ^ Rockefeller (2002), p. 485
  10. ^ Isaacson (2005), p. 84
  11. ^ Grose (1996)
  12. ^ Isaacson (2005), p. 289
  13. ^ Wilson (1986), pp. 229–230
  14. ^, news archive
  15. ^ Perloff (1988), p. 104
  16. ^ Rockefeller (2002), p. 149
  17. ^ Srodes (1999), pp. 207, 210
  18. ^ Rockefeller (2002), p. 363
  19. ^ Bird (1998), pp. 180–181
  20. ^ Reich (1996), p. 559
  21. ^ Official Bilderberg Club Website
  22. ^ "Steering Committee Bilderberg Meetings". Bilderberg Meetings. Retrieved May 23, 2015. 
  23. ^ Rockefeller (2002), pp. 149–151
  24. ^ Holley, Joe (March 18, 2005). "Former Diplomat Sol Linowitz, 91, Dies". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  25. ^ "BCA annual Business in the Arts Awards".
  26. ^
  27. ^ Quint, Michael (June 20, 1992). "U.S. Advisers Will Aid Russians In Modernizing Banking System".  
  28. ^ Zweig (1995), p. 110
  29. ^ Rockefeller (2002), p. 437
  30. ^ Rockefeller (2002), p. 416
  31. ^ Rockefeller (2002), pp. 417–418
  32. ^ Harr & Johnson (1988), pp. 530–531, 603n
  33. ^ "Philanthropy for the 21st Century".  
  34. ^ "New York's Cultural Power Brokers". New York Times. June 2, 2004.
  35. ^ "The Height of Ambition", New York Times September 8, 2002.
  36. ^ "David Rockefeller Pledges $225 Million to Family Fund (Update1)". Retrieved October 2, 2015. 
  37. ^
  38. ^, New York Region, Chronicle of Philanthropy (pdf)
  39. ^ MonrifNet. "Rockefeller a Firenze: l'uomo da due miliardi di dollari compra tovaglie ricamate in città". Firenze - La Nazione - Quotidiano di Firenze con le ultime notizie della Toscana e dell’Umbria. Retrieved October 2, 2015. 
  40. ^ Rockefeller (2002), p. 499
  41. ^ Echols (1989), pp. 158 (& perhaps n. 106), 163 & nn. 132–133, & 211 & n. 37
  42. ^ Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections.
  43. ^ Santora, Marc, "Richard Rockefeller Killed in New York Plane Crash", New York Times, June 13, 2014' retrieved June 13, 2014.
  44. ^ Hoffman (1971), p. 131
  45. ^ Rockefeller (2002), pp. 442–462
  46. ^, grants


  • The Rockefeller File, Gary Allen, ´76 Press, Seal Beach California, 1976.
  • The Rockefeller Century: Three Generations of America's Greatest Family, John Ensor Harr and Peter J. Johnson. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1988.
  • The Rockefeller Conscience: An American Family in Public and in Private, John Ensor Harr and Peter J. Johnson, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1992.
  • The Life of Nelson A. Rockefeller: Worlds to Conquer 1908–1958, Cary Reich, New York: Doubleday, 1996.
  • Abby Aldrich Rockefeller: The Woman in the Family, Bernice Kert, New York: Random House, 1993.
  • Those Rockefeller Brothers: An Informal Biography of Five Extraordinary Young Men, Joe Alex Morris, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1953.
  • The Rockefellers: An American Dynasty, Peter Collier and David Horowitz, New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1976.
  • The American Establishment, Leonard Silk and Mark Silk, New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1980.
  • American Hegemony and the Trilateral Commission, Stephen Gill, Boston: Cambridge University Press, Reprint Edition, 1991.
  • The Chase: The Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A., 1945–1985, John Donald Wilson, Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1986.
  • Wriston: Walter Wriston, Citibank, and the Rise and Fall of American Financial Supremacy, Phillip L. Zweig, New York: Crown Publishers, 1995.
  • Paul Volcker: The Making of a Financial Legend, Joseph B. Treaster, New York: Wiley, 2004.
  • Financier: The Biography of André Meyer; A Story of Money, Power, and the Reshaping of American Business, Cary Reich, New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1983.
  • Continuing the Inquiry: The Council on Foreign Relations from 1921 to 1996, Peter Grose, New York: Council on Foreign Relations: 1996.
  • Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations and United States Foreign Policy, Laurence H. Shoup, and William Minter, New York: Authors Choice Press, (Reprint), 2004.
  • Cloak of Green: The Links between Key Environmental Groups, Government and Big Business, Elaine Dewar, New York: Lorimer, 1995.
  • The Shah's Last Ride, William Shawcross, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989.
  • Divided We Stand: A Biography of New York City's World Trade Center, Eric Darton, New York: Basic Books, 1999.
  • The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, Robert Caro, New York: Random House, 1975.
  • The Rich and the Super-Rich: A Study in the Power of Money Today, Ferdinand Lundberg, New York: Lyle Stuart; Reprint Edition, 1988.
  • Interlock: The untold story of American banks, oil interests, the Shah's money, debts, and the astounding connections between them, Mark Hulbert, New York: Richardson & Snyder; 1st edition, 1982.
  • The Money Lenders: Bankers and a World in Turmoil, Anthony Sampson, New York: Viking Press, 1982.
  • The Chairman: John J. McCloy – The Making of the American Establishment, Kai Bird, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992.

Further reading


Non-governmental leadership positions

[46] The Kykuit area of the family estate is the location of The Pocantico Conference Center of the

Rockefeller's principal residence is at "Hudson Pines", on the family estate in Pocantico Hills, New York. He also has a Manhattan residence at East 65th Street, as well as a country residence (known as "Four Winds") at a farm in Livingston, New York (Columbia County), where his wife raised Simmenthal beef cattle. He also maintains a summer home on Mount Desert Island off the Maine coast.


Another major source of asset wealth is his formidable art collection, ranging from impressionist to postmodern, which he developed through the raising of his mother Abby and her establishment, with two associates, of the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1929. He is not a collector of most modern art himself but, as chairman and honorary chairman, has never hindered MoMA's acquisition of the newer works. He has donated many works to MoMA over the decades and more will go there after his death.[45]

As of September 2015, his net worth is estimated to be US $3.0 billion, ranking him among the 200 richest people in the world.[1] Initially, most of his wealth had come to him via the family trusts that his father had set up, which were administered by Room 5600 and the Chase Bank. In turn, most of these trusts were held as shares in the successor companies of Standard Oil, as well as diverse real estate investment partnerships, such as the expansive Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, which he later sold for considerable profit, retaining only an indirect stake. In addition, he is or has been a partner in various properties such as a 4,000-acre (16 km2) resort development in the Virgin Islands and a cattle ranch in Argentina, as well as a 15,500-acre (63 km2) sheep ranch in Australia.[44]


  1. David Rockefeller Jr. (born July 24, 1941) – Vice Chairman, Rockefeller Family & Associates (the family office, Room 5600); Chairman of Rockefeller Financial Services; Trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation; former Chairman of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Rockefeller & Co., Inc., among many other family institutions.
  2. Cell 16.[42] An environmentalist and ecologist, she was an active supporter of the women's liberation movement.
  3. Neva Rockefeller (born 1944) – economist and philanthropist. She is Director of the Global Development and Environment Institute; Trustee and Vice Chair of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Director of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.
  4. Margaret Dulany "Peggy" Rockefeller (born 1947) – founder of the Synergos Institute in 1986; Board member of the Council on Foreign Relations; serves on the Advisory Committee of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University.
  5. Richard Gilder Rockefeller (January 20, 1949 − June 13, 2014)[43] – physician and philanthropist; chairman of the United States advisory board of the international aid group Doctors Without Borders; Trustee and Chair of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
  6. Eileen Rockefeller (born 1952) – venture philanthropist; Founding Chair of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, established in New York City in 2002.

He married Margaret "Peggy" McGrath (September 28, 1915 – March 26, 1996) on September 7, 1940. She was the daughter of a partner in a prominent Wall Street law firm. They had six children and (as of 2002), ten grandchildren.

Wife and children

He published Memoirs in 2002, the only time a member of the Rockefeller family has written an autobiography.[40]

Rockefeller has always limited his giving to institutions directly or indirectly related to the family; for example, in 2005, at age ninety, he gave $100 million to the Museum of Modern Art and $100 million to Rockefeller University, two of the most prominent family institutions; as well as $10 million to Harvard and $5 million to Colonial Williamsburg. In 2006, he pledged $225 million to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund upon his death, the largest gift in the Fund's history. The money will be used to create the David Rockefeller Global Development Fund, to support projects that improve access to health care, conduct research on international finance and trade, fight poverty, and support sustainable development, as well as to a program that fosters dialogue between Muslim and Western nations.[36] Rockefeller donated $100 million to Harvard University in 2008.[37] The New York Times estimated in November 2006 that his total charitable donations amount to $900 million over his lifetime, a figure that was substantiated by a monograph on the family's overall benefactions, entitled The Chronicle of Philanthropy.[38] According to his doctors, he wasn't diagnosed with any cancer and is peacefully going to his centenary.[39]

In 2003, he served as "honorary member" of the Jury for the World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition. This was appropriate as he had created and chaired the original Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association in 1960 that had initiated the Center, along with major backing from his brother, Nelson Rockefeller, who was the Governor of New York at the time, as well as with the New York power broker Robert Moses.[35]

In 2000, Rockefeller presided over the final sale of Rockefeller Center to Jerry Speyer's Tishman Speyer Properties, along with the Crown family of Chicago, which ended the more than 70 years of direct family financial association with the landmark New York complex. It later turned out that he had a long association with Jerry Speyer through the Museum of Modern Art, so there was still an enduring partnership in operation, though not directly financial in nature.[34]

The extended family demonstrated their influence in the 1989 sale of Rockefeller Center to Mitsubishi Real Estate. This action freed up part of the family fortune for reinvestment in more lucrative fields. The Trust has expanded beyond business in New York and is now far more diverse in their interests. Nevertheless, under David, overall family and institutional cohesion has been maintained to a remarkable degree (more so than any other late 19th century wealthy family).[33]

David ensured that selected members of the fourth generation, known generically as the cousins, became directly involved in the family's institutions. This involved inviting them to be more active in the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the principal foundation established in 1940 by the five brothers and their one sister. The extended family also became involved in their own philanthropic organization, formed in 1967 and primarily established by third-generation members, called the Rockefeller Family Fund.

After the war and alongside his work at Chase, Rockefeller took a more active role in his family's business dealings. Working with his brothers in the two floors of [32] Following the deaths of his brothers, Winthrop (1973), John III (1978), Nelson (1979), and Laurance (2004), David became sole head of the family (with the important involvement of his elder son, David Jr).

Rockefeller patriarch

Addressing this and other claims proffered by traditional media, far-left and far-right academics, and many conspiracy theorists, in Rockefeller's 2002 autobiography "Memoirs" he wrote: "For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as internationalists and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure—one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it." [31]

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