David Rockefeller a patriarch of the famous American families, the Rockefeller dynasty is dead. Billionaire philanthropist died as the age of 101.
The death of the Former head of Chase Manhattan Corp was announced by a family spokesman Fraser Seitel.
Seitel said Rockefeller, who reportedly gave away nearly $2 billion in his lifetime, died in his sleep of congestive heart failure at his home in Pocantico Hills, New York.
Born in Manhattan as the youngest of six siblings, Rockefeller spent his childhood in New York City and at the family’s estates, and recalled meeting such luminaries as Charles Lindbergh, Admiral Richard Byrd and Sigmund Freud.
He married Margaret “Peggy” McGrath on September 7, 1940. She was the daughter of a partner in a prominent Wall Street law firm.
Rockefeller’s wife, Peggy, died in 1996. They had six children and 10 grandchildren.
The site of the nine-story mansion where he was born, then New York’s largest residence, is now part of the Museum of Modern Art, which his mother, Abby, helped found in 1929.
His fortune, investments in real estate, share of family trusts and other holdings were estimated at $3.3 billion in March 2017 by Forbes magazine.
According to Reuters, he is one of the few remaining links to the U.S. “gilded” era of robber barons, he was the son of John D. Rockefeller Jr., who developed New York’s Rockefeller Center, and was the last living grandson of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil and the family dynasty.
He also embodied an era when globe-trotting bank chiefs worked with the world’s most powerful politicians.
During his time as head of Chase from 1969 to 1981, Rockefeller forged such a network of close relationships with governments and multinational corporations that observers said the bank had its own foreign policy.
Chase Manhattan grew from a $4.8 billion institution in 1946 when he joined to a bank with $76.2 billion in assets when he stepped down in April 1981.
But it slipped from its standing then as No. 3 in the world and was purchased by Chemical Bank of New York in 1996. Today it is part of JPMorgan Chase & Co.
The Rockefeller name came to symbolize unpopular U.S. banking policies in debtor countries, and Rockefeller was scorned on the left for working with Chile’s Augusto Pinochet and the shah of Iran.
He also was viewed with anger on the right for pushing to open trade with China and the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
In May 2015, he made a rare public appearance in Maine to mark his approaching 100th birthday by donating 1,000 acres (405 hectares) for preservation on exclusive Mount Desert Island.
Rockefeller established several international and philanthropic associations: the Americas Society, the weighty Trilateral Commission to promote cooperation between North America, Europe and Japan, and the New York City Partnership to help the city’s poor.
He remained a lifelong member of the moderate “Rockefeller Republicans” wing of that party, including his 2006 co-founding of Republicans Who Care, to support the party’s moderates.
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