David Rockefeller Sr. dies in Pocantico Hills at 101

By Peter Katz

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David Rockefeller Sr. died March 20 at his family’s estate in Pocantico Hills. He was 101 years old. Rockefeller was perhaps best known in business circles as chairman and chief executive of Chase Bank. He had been named president of the bank, then called Chase Manhattan, in 1961. About eight years later, he was named chairman and chief executive officer. He retired from the bank early in the 1980s.

Photo by Virginia Sherwood

He was a grandson of John D. Rockefeller who founded Standard Oil Co. on which the Rockefeller family fortune was built. He was a son of John D. Rockefeller Jr., and brother of Nelson, John D. III, Winthrop and Laurence. He also had a sister, Abigail.

David Rockefeller Sr. was known as a philanthropist and art collector, and was instrumental in keeping portions of the family’s 3,400-acre estate in Pocantico Hills open for public enjoyment and recreation. After Rockefeller Center in Manhattan had been sold to overseas investors, he organized a group of U.S. investors who bought back 45 percent of the landmark property.

Rajiv J. Shah, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, said, “Whether serving at the helm of institutions such as the Chase Manhattan Bank and the Council on Foreign Relations, or helping to found others, such as the Trilateral Commission and the Council of the Americas, David was one of the world’s foremost advocates for the power of partnership and collaboration.” His oldest son, David Jr., served as board chair for the foundation until last year. Rockefeller had an estimated net worth of $3 billion as of April 2016, according to Forbes. 

A Rockefeller family spokesman said that David Rockefeller Sr. died in his sleep. Funeral arrangements were not immediately announced.

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