David Rockefeller dies at 101: philanthropist and guardian of family fortune

David Rockefeller, 101, the last of his generation in a famous American family that taught its children that wealth brings great responsibility, died in his sleep at his home in Pocantico Hills, N.Y.

NEW YORK — 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 P. 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.

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Unlike his brothers Nelson, the governor of New York who hungered for the White House and was briefly vice president, and Winthrop, a governor of Arkansas, David Rockefeller wielded power and influence without ever seeking public office. Among his many accomplishments were spurring the project that led to the World Trade Center.

“No individual has contributed more to the commercial and civic life of New York City over a longer period of time than David Rockefeller,” said Michael Bloomberg, a former mayor and fellow billionaire. “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.”

Unlike his other brothers, John D. 3rd and…

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