(Newswire.net — March 21, 2017) — The oldest member of the famous and very influential family Rockefeller, David, died peacefully in his sleep, said a family spokesperson, Fraser P. Seitel, and added that the cause of death was congestive heart failure.
At the time of his death, Rockefeller was worth an estimated $3.3 billion, making him the planet’s 604th richest person, according to Forbes’ real-time billionaire rankings.
He was a banker, chairman and chief executive of Chase Manhattan Corporation, and he ran Chase National Bank for years.
Rockefeller’s family came to America in 1720 from Bavaria as Protestant religious refugees.
David Rockefeller was born in New York on June 12, 1915, as the youngest of six children born to financier John Davison Rockefeller Jr. and socialite Abigail Greene “Abby” Aldrich. His father was the only son of Standard Oil co-founder, John Davison Rockefeller Sr., and his mother was a daughter of Senator Nelson Wilmarth Aldrich.
He grew up in an eight-story house at 10 West 54th Street, the tallest private residence ever built in the city, which contained rare, ancient, medieval and Renaissance treasures collected by his father. On the seventh floor was his mother’s private modern art gallery.
That’s why David Rockefeller was also a big fan of art and an avid art collector. He owned, for example, pieces by Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet and Mark Rothko, but he also donated more than $150 million to Manhattan’s Museum of Modern Art, which was cofounded by his mother.
Rockefeller attended the experimental Lincoln School at 123rd Street in Harlem.
In 1936, he graduated from Harvard University. He also studied economics for a year at Harvard and then a year at the London School of Economics. In 1940, he received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.
That same year, he married Margaret “Peggy” McGrath (1915–1996). She was the daughter of a partner in a prominent Wall Street law firm. They had six children, ten grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.
During World War II, David served in North Africa and France.
In 1946, Rockefeller joined the staff of the longtime family-associated Chase National Bank, and he started as an assistant manager in the foreign department. Also, he took a more active role in his family’s business dealings.
He had an active life, he traveled a lot, and fluently spoke French.
“No individual has contributed more to the commercial and civic life of New York City over a longer period of time than David Rockefeller. I have long admired his commitment to the city, which began with a dollar-a-year job working as a secretary to Mayor Fiorello La Guardia. During my time in City Hall, he was always there for the city when we called,” said former New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg, following the news of David’s death.
David published “Memoirs” in 2002, and he was the only member of the Rockefeller family who has written an autobiography.
”David was an absolute joy. If he hadn’t been born a billionaire he still would have been the world’s nicest person,’ said the spokesperson of the Rockefeller family.