NEW YORK: David Rockefeller, the billionaire businessman and philanthropist who was the last in his generation of one of the country’s most famously philanthropic f amilies, died on Monday. He was 101.
Rockefeller died in his sleep at his home in Pocantico Hills, New York, according to his spokesman, Fraser P. Seitel.
He was the grandson of Standard Oil co-founder John D. Rockefeller and the youngest of six children born to John D. Rockefeller Jr. With the passing of his siblings, he became the guardian of his family’s fortune and head of a sprawling network of family interests, both business and philanthropic, that ranged from environmental conservation to the arts.
To mark his 100th birthday in 2015, Rockefeller gave 1,000 acres of land next to a national park to the state of Maine.
Aspects of the Rockefeller brothers’ upbringing became famous, including the 25-cent allowance, portions of which had to be set aside for charity and savings, and the inculcation that wealth brings great responsibility.
Two of his brothers held elected office: Nelson Rockefeller served as the governor of New York, hungered for the White House and briefly served as vice president. Winthrop Rockefeller was a governor of Arkansas.
David Rockefeller, however, wielded power and influence without ever seeking public office. Among his many accomplishments were spurring a project that led to the World Trade Center.
Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2017