Banker and philanthropist David Rockefeller died on Monday at ripe old age of 101. He died in his home at Pocantio Hills in New York. Rockefeller died due to congestive heart failure. Rockefeller was known to be a champion and advocate of American capitalism.
Rockefeller Foundation President Rajiv Shah said, “The world has lost a great man and philanthropist.” Former President Bill Clinton described Rockefeller as “a consummate businessman and a great humanitarian.”
David Rockefeller is the last grandchild of the legendary John D. Rockefeller who co-founded Standard Oil and was America’s first billionaire. David Rockefeller is the son of John D. Rockefeller Jr. who was known for developing the Rockefeller Center in New York.
The current leaders in Oil, ExxonMobil and Chevron are evolutions of Standard Oil.
David Rockefeller is a billionaire and the former head of Chase Manhattan Bank. He started at Chase National Bank as an assistant manager in 1946 until he became chief executive. He retired from the Bank in 1981.
Forbes estimates David’s wealth at $3.3 billion. In 2006, David Rockefeller gave $225 to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund whose initiative is to promote social change globally. He also gave $100 million to the Museum of Modern Art in New York and another $100 million to Rockefeller University. In 2008, he donated $100 million to Harvard University.
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, “No individual has contributed more to the commercial and civic life of New York City over a longer period than David Rockefeller. During my time in City Hall, he was always there for the city when we called.”
Chase Manhattan is part of JPMorgan Chase, and during the 1960s and 1970s, David Rockefeller led the bank’s growth in operations in the Middle East, Japan, Russia and Latin America. During his career with the bank, he traveled to 103 countries and was at the forefront in meeting dignitaries such as kings, presidents, and prime ministers.
David Rockefeller was able to boost the number of Chase’s foreign branches from 11 to 73. Chase was also able to open branches in Beijing and Africa. He hired famed professor Peter Drucker to help create a marketing, human resource, and planning system for the bank.
Rockefeller graduated from Harvard in 1936 and got his doctorate in Economics at the University of Chicago. He served during World War II and was awarded by the French government with the Legion of Honor in 1945.
He got married to Margaret “Peggy” McGrath in 1940 and raised six children with her: two sons and four daughters.
David Rockefeller also played a significant role in developing the World Trade Center in the 1960s and 1970s with the help of his brother Nelson who became Vice President during Gerald Ford’s administration.
Ron Chernow who wrote “Titan” which is a biography of John D. Rockefeller said, “The range of David Rockefeller’s business and philanthropic and political connections is perhaps unequaled.”
David Rockefeller created many philanthropic associations such as the Americas Society and the New York City Partnership which targeted the city’s poor.