David Rockefeller

David Rockefeller

Overview
David Rockefeller, Sr. is the current patriarch of the Rockefeller family
Rockefeller family
The Rockefeller family , the Cleveland family of John D. Rockefeller and his brother William Rockefeller , is an American industrial, banking, and political family of German origin that made one of the world's largest private fortunes in the oil business during the late 19th and early 20th...

. He is the youngest and only surviving child of John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
John Davison Rockefeller, Jr. was a major philanthropist and a pivotal member of the prominent Rockefeller family. He was the sole son among the five children of businessman and Standard Oil industrialist John D. Rockefeller and the father of the five famous Rockefeller brothers...

 and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, , was a prominent socialite and philanthropist and the second-generation matriarch of the renowned Rockefeller family...

, and the only surviving grandchild of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller
John D. Rockefeller
John Davison Rockefeller was an American oil industrialist, investor, and philanthropist. He was the founder of the Standard Oil Company, which dominated the oil industry and was the first great U.S. business trust. Rockefeller revolutionized the petroleum industry and defined the structure of...

, founder of Standard Oil
Standard Oil
Standard Oil was a predominant American integrated oil producing, transporting, refining, and marketing company. Established in 1870 as a corporation in Ohio, it was the largest oil refiner in the world and operated as a major company trust and was one of the world's first and largest multinational...

. His five siblings were Abby
Abby Rockefeller Mauzé
Abigail "Abby" Rockefeller Mauzé was the first child and only daughter of John Davison Rockefeller, Jr. and Abigail "Abby" Greene Aldrich Rockefeller...

, John D. III, Nelson
Nelson Rockefeller
Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller was the 41st Vice President of the United States , serving under President Gerald Ford, and the 49th Governor of New York , as well as serving the Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower administrations in a variety of positions...

, Laurance
Laurance Rockefeller
Laurance Spelman Rockefeller was a venture capitalist, financier, philanthropist, a major conservationist and a prominent third-generation member of the Rockefeller family. He was the fourth child of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and brother to John D...

 and Winthrop
Winthrop Rockefeller
Winthrop Rockefeller was a politician and philanthropist who served as the first Republican Governor of Arkansas since Reconstruction. He was a third-generation member of the Rockefeller family.-Early life:...

.

Rockefeller was born in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 and grew up in a nine-story mansion at 10 West 54th Street, the then-largest private residence in the city . The home contained rare, ancient, medieval and Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 treasures collected by his father — with some, such as the Unicorn Tapestries, held in an adjoining building at 12 West 54th Street.
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Encyclopedia
David Rockefeller, Sr. is the current patriarch of the Rockefeller family
Rockefeller family
The Rockefeller family , the Cleveland family of John D. Rockefeller and his brother William Rockefeller , is an American industrial, banking, and political family of German origin that made one of the world's largest private fortunes in the oil business during the late 19th and early 20th...

. He is the youngest and only surviving child of John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
John Davison Rockefeller, Jr. was a major philanthropist and a pivotal member of the prominent Rockefeller family. He was the sole son among the five children of businessman and Standard Oil industrialist John D. Rockefeller and the father of the five famous Rockefeller brothers...

 and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, , was a prominent socialite and philanthropist and the second-generation matriarch of the renowned Rockefeller family...

, and the only surviving grandchild of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller
John D. Rockefeller
John Davison Rockefeller was an American oil industrialist, investor, and philanthropist. He was the founder of the Standard Oil Company, which dominated the oil industry and was the first great U.S. business trust. Rockefeller revolutionized the petroleum industry and defined the structure of...

, founder of Standard Oil
Standard Oil
Standard Oil was a predominant American integrated oil producing, transporting, refining, and marketing company. Established in 1870 as a corporation in Ohio, it was the largest oil refiner in the world and operated as a major company trust and was one of the world's first and largest multinational...

. His five siblings were Abby
Abby Rockefeller Mauzé
Abigail "Abby" Rockefeller Mauzé was the first child and only daughter of John Davison Rockefeller, Jr. and Abigail "Abby" Greene Aldrich Rockefeller...

, John D. III, Nelson
Nelson Rockefeller
Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller was the 41st Vice President of the United States , serving under President Gerald Ford, and the 49th Governor of New York , as well as serving the Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower administrations in a variety of positions...

, Laurance
Laurance Rockefeller
Laurance Spelman Rockefeller was a venture capitalist, financier, philanthropist, a major conservationist and a prominent third-generation member of the Rockefeller family. He was the fourth child of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and brother to John D...

 and Winthrop
Winthrop Rockefeller
Winthrop Rockefeller was a politician and philanthropist who served as the first Republican Governor of Arkansas since Reconstruction. He was a third-generation member of the Rockefeller family.-Early life:...

.

Early life


Rockefeller was born in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 and grew up in a nine-story mansion at 10 West 54th Street, the then-largest private residence in the city . The home contained rare, ancient, medieval and Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 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 Abby
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, , was a prominent socialite and philanthropist and the second-generation matriarch of the renowned Rockefeller family...

's private modern art gallery. The mansion was subsequently donated by David's father as a site for the sculpture garden in his wife's name and memory, now part of the complex that is the Museum of Modern Art
Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art is an art museum in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, on 53rd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. It has been important in developing and collecting modernist art, and is often identified as the most influential museum of modern art in the world...

.

He spent much time as a child at the vast family estate of Pocantico (see Kykuit
Kykuit
Kykuit , also known as John D. Rockefeller Estate, is a 40-room National Trust house in Westchester County, New York, built by the oil businessman, philanthropist and founder of the prominent Rockefeller family, John D. Rockefeller, and his son, John D...

), where, in his memoirs, he recalls visits by powerful associates of his father, including General George C. Marshall, the adventurer Admiral Richard Byrd
Richard Evelyn Byrd
Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd, Jr., USN was a naval officer who specialized in feats of exploration. He was a pioneering American aviator, polar explorer, and organizer of polar logistics...

 (whose Antarctic expeditions had been funded by the family), and the famous aviator Charles Lindbergh
Charles Lindbergh
Charles Augustus Lindbergh was an American aviator, author, inventor, explorer, and social activist.Lindbergh, a 25-year-old U.S...

. Summer vacations were spent at the Eyrie, a vast 100-room mansion in Seal Harbor on the southeast shore of Mount Desert Island
Mount Desert Island
Mount Desert Island , in Hancock County, Maine, is the largest island off the coast of Maine. With an area of it is the 6th largest island in the contiguous United States. Though it is often claimed to be the third largest island on the eastern seaboard of the United States, it is actually second...

, in Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

. The mansion was demolished by the family in the early 1960s.

Rockefeller attended the experimental Lincoln School at 123rd Street in Harlem
Harlem
Harlem is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan, which since the 1920s has been a major African-American residential, cultural and business center. Originally a Dutch village, formally organized in 1658, it is named after the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands...

. The school was the brainchild of Abraham Flexner
Abraham Flexner
Abraham Flexner was an American educator. His Flexner Report, published in 1910, reformed medical education in the United States...

, who had structured the institution after the educational philosophy of John Dewey
John Dewey
John Dewey was an American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. Dewey was an important early developer of the philosophy of pragmatism and one of the founders of functional psychology...

. It opened in 1916 and was operated by the Teachers College at Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

, with crucial funding in its early years from the Rockefellers' General Education Board, a philanthropic educational institution later rolled into the Rockefeller Foundation
Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation is a prominent philanthropic organization and private foundation based at 420 Fifth Avenue, New York City. The preeminent institution established by the six-generation Rockefeller family, it was founded by John D. Rockefeller , along with his son John D. Rockefeller, Jr...

.

In 1936, Rockefeller graduated cum laude from Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

, writing his senior thesis on Fabian socialism. He did a postgraduate year in economics at Harvard and then a year at the London School of Economics
London School of Economics
The London School of Economics and Political Science is a public research university specialised in the social sciences located in London, United Kingdom, and a constituent college of the federal University of London...

. It was at the LSE that he first met John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 (although he had earlier been his contemporary at Harvard) and briefly dated Kennedy's sister Kathleen
Kathleen Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington
Kathleen Agnes "Kick" Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington , born Kathleen Agnes Kennedy, was the fourth child and second daughter of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Kennedy. She was a sister of future U.S. President John F. Kennedy and widow of the heir to the Dukedom of Devonshire.-Biography:When...

. During his time abroad, Rockefeller briefly worked in the London branch of what was to become the Chase Manhattan Bank
Chase Manhattan Bank
JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., doing business as Chase, is a national bank that constitutes the consumer and commercial banking subsidiary of financial services firm JPMorgan Chase. The bank was known as Chase Manhattan Bank until it merged with J.P. Morgan & Co. in 2000...

. Returning to the United States to complete his graduate studies, he in 1940 received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

. 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 what is known as a "dollar a year" public service position. Although the mayor was at pains to point out to the press that he was only one of 60 interns in the city government, his working space was, in fact, the vacant office of the deputy mayor.

From 1941 to 1942, Rockefeller then served as assistant regional director of the United States Office of Defense, Health and Welfare Services. After war broke out, he enlisted in the war effort and entered Officer Candidate School in 1943; he was ultimately promoted to captain in 1945. During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 he served in North Africa and France (he spoke fluent French) for military intelligence
Military intelligence
Military intelligence is a military discipline that exploits a number of information collection and analysis approaches to provide guidance and direction to commanders in support of their decisions....

 setting up political and economic intelligence units. For seven months he also served as an assistant military attaché at the American Embassy in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

. During this period, he would call on family contacts and Standard Oil
Standard Oil
Standard Oil was a predominant American integrated oil producing, transporting, refining, and marketing company. Established in 1870 as a corporation in Ohio, it was the largest oil refiner in the world and operated as a major company trust and was one of the world's first and largest multinational...

 executives for assistance, establish contacts of his own, and come to highly regard the invaluable potential of "networking".

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 Winthrop Aldrich, the son of the powerful U.S. Senator Nelson W. Aldrich
Nelson W. Aldrich
Nelson Wilmarth Aldrich was a prominent American politician and a leader of the Republican Party in the Senate, where he served from 1881 to 1911....

, and the brother of Rockefeller's mother
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, , was a prominent socialite and philanthropist and the second-generation matriarch of the renowned Rockefeller family...

. The Chase Bank was primarily a wholesale bank, dealing with other prominent financial institutions and major corporate clients such as General Electric
General Electric
General Electric Company , or GE, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States...

 (which had, through its RCA
RCA
RCA Corporation, founded as the Radio Corporation of America, was an American electronics company in existence from 1919 to 1986. The RCA trademark is currently owned by the French conglomerate Technicolor SA through RCA Trademark Management S.A., a company owned by Technicolor...

 affiliate, leased prominent space and become a crucial first tenant of Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center is a complex of 19 commercial buildings covering between 48th and 51st streets in New York City, United States. Built by the Rockefeller family, it is located in the center of Midtown Manhattan, spanning the area between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue. It was declared a National...

 in 1930). The bank also is closely associated with and has financed the oil industry, having longstanding connections with its board directors to the successor companies of Standard Oil
Standard Oil
Standard Oil was a predominant American integrated oil producing, transporting, refining, and marketing company. Established in 1870 as a corporation in Ohio, it was the largest oil refiner in the world and operated as a major company trust and was one of the world's first and largest multinational...

, especially Exxon Mobil. Chase National subsequently became the Chase Manhattan Bank
Chase Manhattan Bank
JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., doing business as Chase, is a national bank that constitutes the consumer and commercial banking subsidiary of financial services firm JPMorgan Chase. The bank was known as Chase Manhattan Bank until it merged with J.P. Morgan & Co. in 2000...

 in 1955 and shifted significantly into consumer banking. It is now called JPMorgan Chase.

Rockefeller started as an assistant manager (the lowest rank) 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 worked his way up through the ranks 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.

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
One Chase Manhattan Plaza
One Chase Manhattan Plaza is a banking skyscraper located in the downtown Manhattan Financial District of New York City, between Pine, Liberty, Nassau, and William Streets. Construction on the building was completed in 1961...

, on Liberty Street in downtown Manhattan, directly across from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is one of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks of the United States. It is located at 33 Liberty Street, New York, NY. It is responsible for the Second District of the Federal Reserve System, which encompasses New York state, the 12 northern counties of New Jersey,...

. 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 respected 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 Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger
Heinz Alfred "Henry" Kissinger is a German-born American academic, political scientist, diplomat, and businessman. He is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and...

, Riley P. Bechtel
Riley P. Bechtel
Riley P. Bechtel is the chairman and CEO of the Bechtel Corporation. He is the great-grandson of Warren A. Bechtel, the founder of the company. His parents are Elizabeth Hogan and Stephen Bechtel, Jr., the former chairman and CEO of the company.-Biography:He received a bachelor's degree in...

 (of the Bechtel
Bechtel
Bechtel Corporation is the largest engineering company in the United States, ranking as the 5th-largest privately owned company in the U.S...

 Group), Andre Desmarais
André Desmarais
André Desmarais, OC, OQ is a Canadian businessman, whose hometown is Montreal, Quebec.He is one of two sons of Paul Desmarais, Sr. He is currently the president and co-chief executive officer of his father's founding company the Power Corporation, based in Montreal, Canada...

, Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew, GCMG, CH is a Singaporean statesman. He was the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, governing for three decades...

 and George Shultz, the current chairman. Historically, prominent figures on the IAC have included Gianni Agnelli
Gianni Agnelli
Giovanni Agnelli , better known as Gianni Agnelli , was an Italian industrialist and principal shareholder of Fiat. As the head of Fiat, he controlled 4.4% of Italy's GDP, 3.1% of its industrial workforce, and 16.5% of its industrial investment in research...

 (a longtime associate, who spent thirty years on the Committee), John Loudon
John Loudon
John Loudon is the name of:*John Loudon , Dutch foreign minister *John Claudius Loudon , Scottish botanist*John William Loudon , Missouri state senator...

 (Chairman of Royal Dutch-Shell), C. Douglas Dillon
C. Douglas Dillon
Clarence Douglas Dillon was an American diplomat and politician, who served as U.S. Ambassador to France and as the 57th Secretary of the Treasury...

, David Packard
David Packard
David Packard was a co-founder of Hewlett-Packard , serving as president , CEO , and Chairman of the Board . He served as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense from 1969–1971 during the Nixon administration...

 and Henry Ford II
Henry Ford II
Henry Ford II , commonly known as "HF2" and "Hank the Deuce", was the son of Edsel Ford and grandson of Henry Ford...

.

Under his stewardship 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. A notable achievement was the setting up of the first branch of an American bank at One Karl Marx Square, near the Kremlin, in the then Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, in 1973. That year Rockefeller also traveled to China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, 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
Henry Kissinger
Heinz Alfred "Henry" Kissinger is a German-born American academic, political scientist, diplomat, and businessman. He is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and...

, along with John J. McCloy
John J. McCloy
John Jay McCloy was a lawyer and banker who served as Assistant Secretary of War during World War II, president of the World Bank and U.S. High Commissioner for Germany...

 and Rockefeller aides, persuaded President Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

 through the United States Department of State
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

 to admit the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, Shah of Persia , ruled Iran from 16 September 1941 until his overthrow by the Iranian Revolution on 11 February 1979...

, into the United States for hospital treatment for lymphoma
Lymphoma
Lymphoma is a cancer in the lymphatic cells of the immune system. Typically, lymphomas present as a solid tumor of lymphoid cells. Treatment might involve chemotherapy and in some cases radiotherapy and/or bone marrow transplantation, and can be curable depending on the histology, type, and stage...

. This action directly precipitated what is known as the Iran hostage crisis
Iran hostage crisis
The Iran hostage crisis was a diplomatic crisis between Iran and the United States where 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days from November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981, after a group of Islamist students and militants took over the American Embassy in Tehran in support of the Iranian...

 and placed Rockefeller under intense media scrutiny (particularly from The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

) for the first time in his public life.

Political life


In a private capacity Rockefeller has interface with every United States president since Eisenhower and has even at times served as an unofficial emissary on high-level diplomatic missions. In addition, he has acted as spokesman for the U.S. business and financial community and the New York City business community to United States Presidents on several notable occasions, notably the occasion of New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

's budgetary crisis of 1975. President Jimmy Carter offered him the positions of United States Secretary of the Treasury
United States Secretary of the Treasury
The Secretary of the Treasury of the United States is the head of the United States Department of the Treasury, which is concerned with financial and monetary matters, and, until 2003, also with some issues of national security and defense. This position in the Federal Government of the United...

 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 Kennedy's Senate seat after Kennedy was assassinated in June 1968, a post Nelson also offered to their nephew Jay Rockefeller
Jay Rockefeller
John Davison "Jay" Rockefeller IV is the senior United States Senator from West Virginia. He was first elected to the Senate in 1984, while in office as Governor of West Virginia, a position he held from 1977 to 1985...

. 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—even controversial leaders such as Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban revolutionary and politician, having held the position of Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and then President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from the party's foundation in 1961 until 2011...

, Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

, Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the last head of state of the USSR, having served from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991...

 and Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

.

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. The relationship developed to the point that Kissinger was invited to sit on the board of trustees of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund
Rockefeller Brothers Fund
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund , , is an international philanthropic organisation created and run by members of the Rockefeller family. It was set up in New York City in 1940 as the primary philanthropic vehicle of the five famous Rockefeller brothers: John D...

. Rockefeller consulted with Kissinger on numerous occasions, as for example in the Chase Bank's interests in Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 and the threat of the election of Salvador Allende
Chilean presidential election, 1970
A presidential election was held in Chile on 4 September 1970. A narrow plurality was secured by Salvador Allende, the candidate of the Popular Unity coalition of leftist parties...

 in 1970, and fully supported his "opening of China" initiative in 1971 as it afforded banking opportunities for the Chase Bank.

Though a lifelong Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 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
Goldman Sachs
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is an American multinational bulge bracket investment banking and securities firm that engages in global investment banking, securities, investment management, and other financial services primarily with institutional clients...

 executives and others to form a fund-raising group based in Washington, Republicans Who Care, that supported moderate Republican candidates over more ideological contenders.

Rockefeller also reportedly has connections to Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 (CIA). As well as knowing Allen Dulles and his brother John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles served as U.S. Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959. He was a significant figure in the early Cold War era, advocating an aggressive stance against communism throughout the world...

 — who was an in-law of the family since his college years, it was in Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center is a complex of 19 commercial buildings covering between 48th and 51st streets in New York City, United States. Built by the Rockefeller family, it is located in the center of Midtown Manhattan, spanning the area between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue. It was declared a National...

 that Allen Dulles had set up his WWII operational center after Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor, known to Hawaiians as Puuloa, is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet...

, liaising closely with MI6 which also had their principal U.S. operation in the Center. He also knew and associated with the former CIA director Richard Helms
Richard Helms
Richard McGarrah Helms was the Director of Central Intelligence from 1966 to 1973. He was the only director to have been convicted of lying to the United States Congress over Central Intelligence Agency undercover activities. In 1977, he was sentenced to the maximum fine and received a suspended...

, as well as Archibald Roosevelt, Jr.
Archibald Bulloch Roosevelt, Jr.
Archibald Bulloch Roosevelt, Jr. , the first child of Archibald Bulloch Roosevelt and grandson of US President, Theodore Roosevelt, was a soldier, scholar, polyglot, authority on the Middle East and a career CIA officer. He served as chief of the Central Intelligence Agency's stations in Istanbul,...

, a Chase Bank employee and former CIA agent, whose cousin was the CIA agent, Kermit Roosevelt, Jr.
Kermit Roosevelt, Jr.
Kermit "Kim" Roosevelt, Jr. , was a political action officer of the Central Intelligence Agency's Directorate of Plans who coordinated the Operation Ajax, which aimed to orchestrate a coup d’état against Iran's prime minister, Mohammed Mosaddeq, and return Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran,...

, involved in the Iran coup of 1953. Also, in 1953, he had befriended William Bundy
William Bundy
William Putnam "Bill" Bundy was a member of the CIA and foreign affairs advisor to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. He had a key role in planning the Vietnam War. After leaving government service he became a historian.-Early years:Raised in Boston, Massachusetts he came from a...

, 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. Moreover, in Cary Reichs 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.

Policy groups


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 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is a foreign-policy think tank based in Washington, D.C. The organization describes itself as being dedicated to advancing cooperation between nations and promoting active international engagement by the United States...

; serving on the board were such figures as Alger Hiss
Alger Hiss
Alger Hiss was an American lawyer, government official, author, and lecturer. He was involved in the establishment of the United Nations both as a U.S. State Department and U.N. official...

, John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles served as U.S. Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959. He was a significant figure in the early Cold War era, advocating an aggressive stance against communism throughout the world...

 (chairman), Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 and the president of IBM, Thomas J. Watson
Thomas J. Watson
Thomas John Watson, Sr. was president of International Business Machines , who oversaw that company's growth into an international force from 1914 to 1956...

. He accepted the prestigious appointment and was subsequently instrumental in relocating the Endowment's headquarters to a site opposite the new United Nations headquarters
United Nations headquarters
The headquarters of the United Nations is a complex in New York City. The complex has served as the official headquarters of the United Nations since its completion in 1952. It is located in the Turtle Bay neighborhood of Manhattan, on spacious grounds overlooking the East River...

 building, with a Chase Bank branch on the ground floor. In 1967, he formed The Business Committee for the Arts, Inc. (BCA), which is a national not-for-profit based in New York that established the annual Business in the Arts Awards, awarded to businesses who have formed exemplary partnerships with the arts community; this organization is co-sponsored by Forbes Magazine.In 1979, he formed the Partnership for New York City, which is another not-for-profit membership organization consisting of a select group of two hundred CEOs ("Partners") from New York City’s top corporate, investment and entrepreneurial firms. They are elected annually and committed to working closely with government, labor and the nonprofit sector to enhance the economy and maintain New York City’s position as the global center of commerce, culture and innovation. Through its roster of blue-chip corporations, Rockefeller sits at the core of a network of the most powerful and influential businessmen and women in corporate America. 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
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is one of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks of the United States. It is located at 33 Liberty Street, New York, NY. It is responsible for the Second District of the Federal Reserve System, which encompasses New York state, the 12 northern counties of New Jersey,...

 to advise Russia on the modernization of its banking system, with the full endorsement of President Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin
Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin was the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999.Originally a supporter of Mikhail Gorbachev, Yeltsin emerged under the perestroika reforms as one of Gorbachev's most powerful political opponents. On 29 May 1990 he was elected the chairman of...

.

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
Council on Foreign Relations
The Council on Foreign Relations is an American nonprofit nonpartisan membership organization, publisher, and think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs...

 (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 much the chairman of this influential foreign policy think-tank. In 1965, Rockefeller and other businessmen formed the Council of the Americas
Council of the Americas
Council of the Americas is an American business organization whose goal is promoting free trade, democracy and open markets throughout the Americas. This includes Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, as well as South America. Its members share a common commitment to economic and social development,...

 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
Free Trade Area of the Americas
The Free Trade Area of the Americas , , ) was a proposed agreement to eliminate or reduce the trade barriers among all countries in the Americas but Cuba. In the last round of negotiations, trade ministers from 34 countries met in Miami, United States, in November 2003 to discuss the proposal...

 in a Miami summit in 1994. His and the Council's chief liaison to President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 in order to garner support for this initiative was through Clinton's chief of staff, Mack McLarty
Mack McLarty
Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty III is a prominent Arkansas business and political leader and former White House Chief of Staff for US President Bill Clinton...

, whose consultancy firm Kissinger McLarty Associates is a corporate member of the Council, while McLarty himself is on the board of directors.

Displeased with the failure of the Council on Foreign Relations to include Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, Rockefeller helped found the Trilateral Commission
Trilateral Commission
The Trilateral Commission is a non-governmental, non-partisan discussion group founded by David Rockefeller in July 1973 to foster closer cooperation among the United States, Europe and Japan.-History:...

 in July 1973. Zbigniew Brzezinski
Zbigniew Brzezinski
Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski is a Polish American political scientist, geostrategist, and statesman who served as United States National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981....

, the National Security Advisor
National Security Advisor (United States)
The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, commonly referred to as the National Security Advisor , serves as the chief advisor to the President of the United States on national security issues...

 under Carter and fierce advocate for international cooperation, became the inaugural United States director. (The two had discussed forming the organization at a Bilderberg Group meeting in Belgium in 1972.) Perhaps the most important aspect of the Commission is their commitment to facilitating high-level international dialogue.

The Commission came under media scrutiny when it was later disclosed that Carter appointed 26 former Commission members (who must resign before taking up government positions) to senior positions in his Administration. Moreover, it also came out that Carter himself was a former Trilateral member. (The Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 Administration, by contrast, had close to a dozen Commission members, including Clinton himself; both Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr. was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974...

 and George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

 has consulted the think tank). Addressing this and other claims proffered by traditional media, far-left and -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." These attacks persist; as documented by Canadian journalist Jonathan Kay, conspiracy theorists such as Luke Rudowski regularly protest outside Rockefeller's home and verbally harangue the 96-year-old when he is out in the city.

Rockefeller patriarch


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 Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center is a complex of 19 commercial buildings covering between 48th and 51st streets in New York City, United States. Built by the Rockefeller family, it is located in the center of Midtown Manhattan, spanning the area between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue. It was declared a National...

 know as Room 5600, he reorganized the family's myriad business and philanthropic ventures. The men kept regular "brothers' meetings" where they made decisions on matters of common interest and reported on noteworthy events in each of their lives. David served as secretary to the group, making notes of each meeting. The notes are now in the family archive and will be released in the future. Following the deaths of his brothers, Winthrop in 1973, John D. III in 1978, Nelson in 1979, and Laurance
Laurance Rockefeller
Laurance Spelman Rockefeller was a venture capitalist, financier, philanthropist, a major conservationist and a prominent third-generation member of the Rockefeller family. He was the fourth child of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and brother to John D...

 in 2004, David became sole head of the family (with the important involvement of his son, David Jr.
David Rockefeller, Jr.
David Rockefeller Jr. is an American philanthropist and an active participant in nonprofit and environmental areas. The eldest son of Margaret "Peggy" McGrath and David Rockefeller, he is a leading fourth-generation member of the prominent Rockefeller family, serving on many boards of the...

).

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
Rockefeller Brothers Fund
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund , , is an international philanthropic organisation created and run by members of the Rockefeller family. It was set up in New York City in 1940 as the primary philanthropic vehicle of the five famous Rockefeller brothers: John D...

, 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.

The extended family demonstrated their influence in the 1989 sale of Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center is a complex of 19 commercial buildings covering between 48th and 51st streets in New York City, United States. Built by the Rockefeller family, it is located in the center of Midtown Manhattan, spanning the area between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue. It was declared a National...

 to Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi
The Mitsubishi Group , Mitsubishi Group of Companies, or Mitsubishi Companies is a Japanese multinational conglomerate company that consists of a range of autonomous businesses which share the Mitsubishi brand, trademark and legacy...

 Real Estate. This action freed up part of the family fortune for reinvestment in more lucrative field. 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).

In 2000, Rockefeller presided over the final sale of Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center is a complex of 19 commercial buildings covering between 48th and 51st streets in New York City, United States. Built by the Rockefeller family, it is located in the center of Midtown Manhattan, spanning the area between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue. It was declared a National...

 to Jerry Speyer
Jerry Speyer
Jerry I. Speyer is an American real estate tycoon. He is one of two founding partners of the prominent New York real estate company Tishman Speyer...

's Tishman Speyer Properties
Tishman Speyer Properties
Tishman Speyer Properties is a real estate building and operating company set up in 1978 by two founding partners, Jerry Speyer and Robert Tishman.-Overview:...

, 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
Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art is an art museum in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, on 53rd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. It has been important in developing and collecting modernist art, and is often identified as the most influential museum of modern art in the world...

, so there was still an enduring partnership in operation, though not directly financial in nature.

In 2003, he served as "honorary member" of the Jury for the World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition
World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition
The World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition was an open, international memorial contest, initiated by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation , as per the specifications of architect Daniel Libeskind, to design a World Trade Center Site Memorial on a portion of the World Trade Center site...

. 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
Nelson Rockefeller
Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller was the 41st Vice President of the United States , serving under President Gerald Ford, and the 49th Governor of New York , as well as serving the Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower administrations in a variety of positions...

, who was the New York Governor at the time, as well as with the New York power broker at the time, Robert Moses
Robert Moses
Robert Moses was the "master builder" of mid-20th century New York City, Long Island, Rockland County, and Westchester County, New York. As the shaper of a modern city, he is sometimes compared to Baron Haussmann of Second Empire Paris, and is one of the most polarizing figures in the history of...

.

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
Rockefeller University
The Rockefeller University is a private university offering postgraduate and postdoctoral education. It has a strong concentration in the biological sciences. It is also known for producing numerous Nobel laureates...

, two of the most prominent family institutions; as well as $10 million to Harvard and $5 million to Colonial Williamsburg
Colonial Williamsburg
Colonial Williamsburg is the private foundation representing the historic district of the city of Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. The district includes buildings dating from 1699 to 1780 which made colonial Virginia's capital. The capital straddled the boundary of the original shires of Virginia —...

. In 2006, he pledged $225 million to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund
Rockefeller Brothers Fund
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund , , is an international philanthropic organisation created and run by members of the Rockefeller family. It was set up in New York City in 1940 as the primary philanthropic vehicle of the five famous Rockefeller brothers: John D...

 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. Rockefeller donated $100 million to Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 in 2008. 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.

His Memoirs were published in 2002, the only time a member of the six-generation clan has written an autobiography (royalties from the book go to charities that assist AIDS orphans and other needy children in South Africa). Notably, it was over ten years in the writing, with many personal staff in Room 5600 involved, including the family historian who supervised the project, Peter J. Johnson, as well as Fraser P. Seitel, a former head of public affairs at the Chase Bank and one of the premier public relations professionals in America. Seitel is the author of the acclaimed textbook The Practice of Public Relations, and a senior counselor for the leading public relations firm Burson-Marsteller, a division of WPP
WPP
WPP may refer to:* Windows software trace preprocessor* WPP plc, a London-based advertising holding company* Wandsworth Parks Police, a police service in London, England* Witness Protection Program, in USA...

, one of the world's largest communication services companies.

Wife and children


He married Margaret "Peggy" McGrath on September 7, 1940; (b. September 28, 1915 - d. March 26, 1996, aged 80), she was the daughter of a partner in a prominent Wall Street law firm. They had six children:
  1. David Rockefeller, Jr.
    David Rockefeller, Jr.
    David Rockefeller Jr. is an American philanthropist and an active participant in nonprofit and environmental areas. The eldest son of Margaret "Peggy" McGrath and David Rockefeller, he is a leading fourth-generation member of the prominent Rockefeller family, serving on many boards of the...

     (b. July 24, 1941) — Vice Chairman, Rockefeller Family & Associates (the family office, Room 5600); Chairman of Rockefeller Financial Services; Trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation
    Rockefeller Foundation
    The Rockefeller Foundation is a prominent philanthropic organization and private foundation based at 420 Fifth Avenue, New York City. The preeminent institution established by the six-generation Rockefeller family, it was founded by John D. Rockefeller , along with his son John D. Rockefeller, Jr...

    ; former Chairman of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund
    Rockefeller Brothers Fund
    The Rockefeller Brothers Fund , , is an international philanthropic organisation created and run by members of the Rockefeller family. It was set up in New York City in 1940 as the primary philanthropic vehicle of the five famous Rockefeller brothers: John D...

     and Rockefeller & Co., Inc., among many other family institutions.
  2. Abby Rockefeller
    Abby Rockefeller
    Abby Rockefeller, born 1943, is a member of the Rockefeller family.- Biography :Abby Rockefeller is the eldest and most rebellious daughter of David Rockefeller, Sr.. She was drawn to Marxism and was an ardent admirer of Fidel Castro and a late 1960s/early '70s radical feminist who belonged to the...

     (b. 1943) — The eldest and most rebellious daughter, she was drawn to Marxism
    Marxism
    Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

     and was an ardent admirer of Fidel Castro
    Fidel Castro
    Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban revolutionary and politician, having held the position of Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and then President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from the party's foundation in 1961 until 2011...

     and a late 1960s
    1960s
    The 1960s was the decade that started on January 1, 1960, and ended on December 31, 1969. It was the seventh decade of the 20th century.The 1960s term also refers to an era more often called The Sixties, denoting the complex of inter-related cultural and political trends across the globe...

    /early 1970s
    1970s
    File:1970s decade montage.png|From left, clockwise: US President Richard Nixon doing the V for Victory sign after his resignation from office after the Watergate scandal in 1974; Refugees aboard a US naval boat after the Fall of Saigon, leading to the end of the Vietnam War in 1975; The 1973 oil...

     radical feminist
    Radical feminism
    Radical feminism is a current theoretical perspective within feminism that focuses on the theory of patriarchy as a system of power that organizes society into a complex of relationships based on an assumption that "male supremacy" oppresses women...

     who belonged to the organization Female Liberation, later forming a splinter group called Cell 16
    Cell 16
    Cell 16 was a militant feminist organization known for its program of celibacy, separation from men and self-defense training...

    . An environmentalist and ecologist, she was an active supporter of the women's liberation movement
    Women's liberation movement
    The Women's Liberation Movement was a political movement, born in the 1960s from Second-Wave Feminism.It generated mythology almost before it was born such as bra burning - and it was allegedly a matter of deep concern to those within it at the time that its history would allegedly be rewritten...

    .
  3. Neva Rockefeller Goodwin (b. 1944) — Economist and philanthropist. She is Director of the Global Development and Environment Institute
    Global Development and Environment Institute
    The Global Development And Environment Institute is a research center at Tufts University founded in 1993. GDAE works to promote a better understanding of how societies can pursue their economic and community goals in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner...

    ; Trustee and Vice Chair of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund
    Rockefeller Brothers Fund
    The Rockefeller Brothers Fund , , is an international philanthropic organisation created and run by members of the Rockefeller family. It was set up in New York City in 1940 as the primary philanthropic vehicle of the five famous Rockefeller brothers: John D...

     and Director of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
    Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
    Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors is a 501 nonprofit organization that currently advises on and manages more than $200 million in annual giving. Headquartered in New York City, with offices in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, it traces its antecedents to John D...

    .
  4. Peggy Dulany
    Peggy Dulany
    Peggy Dulany Rockefeller is a philanthropist and the fourth child of David Rockefeller. She is a fourth-generation member of the Rockefeller family. Her siblings are Abby, Richard, Neva Rockefeller Goodwin, Eileen Rockefeller Growald, and David Rockefeller, Jr...

     (b. 1947) — Founder of the Synergos Institute in 1986; Board member of the Council on Foreign Relations
    Council on Foreign Relations
    The Council on Foreign Relations is an American nonprofit nonpartisan membership organization, publisher, and think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs...

    ; serves on the Advisory Committee of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies
    David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies
    Founded in 1994, Harvard's David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies works to increase knowledge of the cultures, economies, histories, environment, and contemporary affairs of past and present Latin America. The Center's main office is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts at Harvard...

     at Harvard University
    Harvard University
    Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

    .
  5. Richard Rockefeller (b. 1949) — A 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
    Rockefeller Brothers Fund
    The Rockefeller Brothers Fund , , is an international philanthropic organisation created and run by members of the Rockefeller family. It was set up in New York City in 1940 as the primary philanthropic vehicle of the five famous Rockefeller brothers: John D...

    .
  6. Eileen Rockefeller Growald
    Eileen Rockefeller Growald
    Eileen Rockefeller Growald is the youngest daughter of David Rockefeller, great-granddaughter of Standard Oil founder John D. Rockefeller. She is a fourth-generation member of the Rockefeller family, known generically as "the Cousins"...

     (b. 1952) — Venture philanthropist; Founding Chair of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
    Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
    Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors is a 501 nonprofit organization that currently advises on and manages more than $200 million in annual giving. Headquartered in New York City, with offices in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, it traces its antecedents to John D...

    , established in New York City in 2002.

Margaret died in 1996. As of 2002, David had ten grandchildren: (by David) Ariana, Camilla; (by Neva) David, Miranda; (by Peggy) Michael; (by Richard) Clay, Rebecca; (by Abby) Christopher; (by Eileen) Danny and Adam.

Wealth


His net wealth is estimated at 2.2 billion dollars, ranking him among the 300 richest people in the world. 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
Standard Oil
Standard Oil was a predominant American integrated oil producing, transporting, refining, and marketing company. Established in 1870 as a corporation in Ohio, it was the largest oil refiner in the world and operated as a major company trust and was one of the world's first and largest multinational...

, as well as diverse real estate investment partnerships, such as the expansive Embarcadero Center
Embarcadero Center
Embarcadero Center is a commercial complex of five office towers and two hotels on a site located off the Embarcadero in the financial district of San Francisco, California. The Trammell Crow, David Rockefeller and John Portman development was begun with Tower One in 1971, with the last...

 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 4000 acres (16.2 km²) resort development in the Virgin Islands and a cattle ranch in Argentina, as well as a 15500 acres (62.7 km²) sheep ranch in Australia.

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
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, , was a prominent socialite and philanthropist and the second-generation matriarch of the renowned Rockefeller family...

 and her establishment, with two associates, of the Museum of Modern Art
Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art is an art museum in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, on 53rd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. It has been important in developing and collecting modernist art, and is often identified as the most influential museum of modern art in the world...

 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.

Residences


Rockefeller's principal residence is at "Hudson Pines", on the family estate in Westchester County, New York
Westchester County, New York
Westchester County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. Westchester covers an area of and has a population of 949,113 according to the 2010 Census, residing in 45 municipalities...

. 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
Livingston, New York
Livingston is a town in Columbia County, New York, United States. The population was 3,424 at the 2000 census. The town is named after its founding father....

 (Columbia County
Columbia County, New York
Columbia County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 63,096. The county seat is Hudson. The name comes from the Latin feminine form of the name of Christopher Columbus, which was at the time of the formation of the county a popular proposal...

), where his wife raised Simmenthal
Simmental Cattle
Simmental cattle are a versatile breed of cattle originating in the valley of the Simme river, in the Bernese Oberland of western Switzerland.-European origin:...

 beef cattle. He also maintains a summer home on Mount Desert Island
Mount Desert Island
Mount Desert Island , in Hancock County, Maine, is the largest island off the coast of Maine. With an area of it is the 6th largest island in the contiguous United States. Though it is often claimed to be the third largest island on the eastern seaboard of the United States, it is actually second...

 off the Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

 coast.

The Kykuit area of the family estate is the location of The Pocantico Conference Center of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund
Rockefeller Brothers Fund
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund , , is an international philanthropic organisation created and run by members of the Rockefeller family. It was set up in New York City in 1940 as the primary philanthropic vehicle of the five famous Rockefeller brothers: John D...

 (RBF) — set up by David and his four brothers and one sister in 1940 — which was created when the Fund leased the area from the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1991. Known as the Playhouse, it provides a setting where the Fund and other nonprofit organizations and public sector institutions can bring together people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives to engage in critical world issues.

Awards

  • Presidential Medal of Freedom
    Presidential Medal of Freedom
    The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is—along with thecomparable Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by an act of U.S. Congress—the highest civilian award in the United States...

     (1998);
  • U.S. Legion of Merit
    Legion of Merit
    The Legion of Merit is a military decoration of the United States armed forces that is awarded for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements...

     (1945);
  • U.S. Legion of Honor (1945);
  • U.S. Army Commendation Ribbon (1945);
  • Charles Evans Hughes award NCCJ, (1974);
  • George C. Marshall Foundation Award (1999);
  • Andrew Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy (2001);
  • The Grand Croix of the Légion d'honneur (2000);
  • C. Walter Nichols Award, New York University
    New York University
    New York University is a private, nonsectarian research university based in New York City. NYU's main campus is situated in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan...

     (1970);
  • Grand Cordon, Order of Sacred Treasure, Japan (1991);
  • World Brotherhood Award, Jewish Theological Seminary of America
    Jewish Theological Seminary of America
    The Jewish Theological Seminary of America is one of the academic and spiritual centers of Conservative Judaism, and a major center for academic scholarship in Jewish studies.JTS operates five schools: Albert A...

     (1953);
  • Award of Merit from the American Institute of Architects (1965);
  • Honorary degree, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México
    Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México
    The Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México , commonly known as ITAM, is a private Ph.D.-granting research university located in Mexico City, Mexico...

     (2006);
  • Medal of Honor for City Planning, American Institute of Architects
    American Institute of Architects
    The American Institute of Architects is a professional organization for architects in the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the AIA offers education, government advocacy, community redevelopment, and public outreach to support the architecture profession and improve its public image...

     (1968);
  • World Monuments Fund
    World Monuments Fund
    World Monuments Fund is a private, international, non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of historic architecture and cultural heritage sites around the world through fieldwork, advocacy, grantmaking, education, and training....

    's Hadrian Award (for preservation of art and architecture) (1994);
  • National Institute of Social Sciences Gold Medal Award (1967 — awarded to all 5 brothers);
  • United States Council for International Business
    United States Council for International Business
    United States Council for International Business is an independent business advocacy group originally founded in 1945 to promote free trade and help represent U.S. business in the, then new, United Nations. One of its primary goals is expanding market access for U.S. products and services abroad...

     (USCIB) International Leadership Award (1983);
  • The Hundred Year Association of New York's Gold Medal Award: "In recognition of outstanding contributions to the City of New York" (1965).

See also

  • Chase Manhattan Bank
    Chase Manhattan Bank
    JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., doing business as Chase, is a national bank that constitutes the consumer and commercial banking subsidiary of financial services firm JPMorgan Chase. The bank was known as Chase Manhattan Bank until it merged with J.P. Morgan & Co. in 2000...

  • Council of the Americas
    Council of the Americas
    Council of the Americas is an American business organization whose goal is promoting free trade, democracy and open markets throughout the Americas. This includes Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, as well as South America. Its members share a common commitment to economic and social development,...

  • Kykuit
    Kykuit
    Kykuit , also known as John D. Rockefeller Estate, is a 40-room National Trust house in Westchester County, New York, built by the oil businessman, philanthropist and founder of the prominent Rockefeller family, John D. Rockefeller, and his son, John D...

     — The Rockefeller family estate (Pocantico)
  • Rockefeller Brothers Fund
    Rockefeller Brothers Fund
    The Rockefeller Brothers Fund , , is an international philanthropic organisation created and run by members of the Rockefeller family. It was set up in New York City in 1940 as the primary philanthropic vehicle of the five famous Rockefeller brothers: John D...

  • Rockefeller Center
    Rockefeller Center
    Rockefeller Center is a complex of 19 commercial buildings covering between 48th and 51st streets in New York City, United States. Built by the Rockefeller family, it is located in the center of Midtown Manhattan, spanning the area between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue. It was declared a National...

  • Rockefeller Foundation
    Rockefeller Foundation
    The Rockefeller Foundation is a prominent philanthropic organization and private foundation based at 420 Fifth Avenue, New York City. The preeminent institution established by the six-generation Rockefeller family, it was founded by John D. Rockefeller , along with his son John D. Rockefeller, Jr...

  • Rockefeller University
    Rockefeller University
    The Rockefeller University is a private university offering postgraduate and postdoctoral education. It has a strong concentration in the biological sciences. It is also known for producing numerous Nobel laureates...

  • Trilateral Commission
    Trilateral Commission
    The Trilateral Commission is a non-governmental, non-partisan discussion group founded by David Rockefeller in July 1973 to foster closer cooperation among the United States, Europe and Japan.-History:...


External links