Published: Tue, March 21, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

David Rockefeller dies aged 101

Billionaire philanthropist David Rockefeller, former head of Chase Manhattan Corp and patriarch of one of the most famous and influential American families, died on Monday, a family spokesman said. He was 101 years old.

Rockefeller was the youngest of six children born to John D. Rockefeller Jr. and the grandson of Standard Oil co-founder John D. Rockefeller, the US first billionaire. Although David never held public office - turning down two invitations to become Secretary of the Treasury in Richard Nixon's administration, and one to succeed.

"Today the world has lost a great man and philanthropist, and we, a dear friend and inspiration". He graduated from Harvard in 1936 and received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1940.

He was named president and co-CEO on January 1, 1961, eventually becoming sole CEO and chairman from 1969 through 1980.

The renowned capitalist supported the assistance of economies overseas, arguing that it would create customers for American products. Under Rockefeller, Chase was the first USA bank to open offices in the Soviet Union and China and, in 1974, the first to open an office in Egypt after the Suez crisis of 1956. He relinquished the chairmanship in 1981, when he retired.

Many members of his family were drawn more to politics than to business.

Mr Rockefeller's private art collection was once valued at $500m (£404m). To mark his 100th birthday in 2015, Rockefeller gave 1,000 acres of land to the state of Maine, The Associated Press reported.

He was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, in 1998.

Rockefeller married Margaret McGrath from 1940 until her death in 1996 and the couple had six children.

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