David Rockefeller was the last of his generation in a famous American family that taught its children that wealth brings great responsibility. Even as children, he and his siblings had to set aside portions of their allowances for charitable giving.
That lesson lasted throughout his life; to mark his 100th birthday in 2015, Rockefeller gave 1,000 acres of land next to a national park to the state of Maine.
Rockefeller died Monday in his sleep at his home in Pocantico Hills at age 101, according to his spokesman, Fraser Seitel.
He was the grandson of Standard Oil co-founder John D. Rockefeller and the youngest of five sons and one daughter born to John D. Rockefeller Jr. He was also 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.
Rockefeller graduated from Harvard in 1936 and received a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago in 1940. He served in the Army during World War II, then began climbing the ranks of management at Chase Bank. That bank merged with the Manhattan company in 1955.
His philanthropy and other activities earned him a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 1998.
Rockefeller and his wife, the former Margaret McGrath, were married in 1940 and had six children – David Jr., Richard, Abby, Neva, Margaret and Eileen. His wife, an active conservationist, died in 1996.