Last grand­son, Rock­e­feller dies

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - JONATHAN KANDELL

David Rock­e­feller, the banker and phi­lan­thropist with the fa­bled fam­ily name who con­trolled Chase Man­hat­tan bank for more than a decade and wielded vast in­flu­ence around the world even longer as he spread the gospel of Amer­i­can cap­i­tal­ism, died Mon­day morn­ing at his home in Po­can­tico Hills, N.Y. He was 101.

A fam­ily spokesman,

Fraser Sei­tel, con­firmed the death.

Chase Man­hat­tan had long been known as the Rock­e­feller bank, though the fam­ily never owned more than 5 per­cent of its shares. But David Rock­e­feller was more than a ste­ward. As chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive through­out the 1970s, he made it “David’s bank,” as many called it, ex­pand­ing its op­er­a­tions in­ter­na­tion­ally. He was re­ceived in for­eign cap­i­tals with the hon­ors ac­corded a chief of state.

He was the last sur­viv­ing grand­son of John D. Rock­e­feller, the ty­coon who founded the Stan­dard Oil Co. in the 19th cen­tury and built a for­tune that made him Amer­ica’s first bil­lion­aire and his fam­ily one of the rich­est and most pow­er­ful in the na­tion’s his­tory.

As an heir to that legacy, David Rock­e­feller lived all his life in ba­ro­nial splen­dor and priv­i­lege, whether in Man­hat­tan (as a boy he and his broth­ers would roller-skate along Fifth Av­enue trailed by a li­mou­sine in case they grew tired) or at his mag­nif­i­cent coun­try es­tates.

His brother Winthrop, born in 1912, was gov­er­nor of Arkansas and died in 1973. The other chil­dren were Abby, who was born in 1903 and died in 1976 after lead­ing a pri­vate life; John D. Rock­e­feller III, who was born in 1906 and im­mersed him­self in phi­lan­thropy un­til his death in an au­to­mo­bile ac­ci­dent in 1978; Nel­son A., the for­mer vice pres­i­dent and four-time gov­er­nor of New York who was born in 1908 and died in 1979; and Lau­rance, born in 1910, who was an en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist and died in 2004.

The youngest of six sib­lings, David Rock­e­feller was born in Man­hat­tan on June 12, 1915. His fa­ther, John D. Rock­e­feller Jr., the only son of the oil ti­tan, de­voted his life to phi­lan­thropy. His mother, Abby Aldrich Rock­e­feller, was the daugh­ter of Nel­son Aldrich, a wealthy se­na­tor from Rhode Is­land.

In 1940, he mar­ried Mar­garet McGrath, known as Peggy. His wife, a con­ser­va­tion­ist, died at 80 in 1996. They had six chil­dren: David Jr., Abby, Neva, Mar­garet, Richard and Eileen.

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