David Rockefeller : biography
David Rockefeller, Sr. (born June 12, 1915) is an American businessman and philanthropist who served as chairman and chief executive of Chase Manhattan Bank. The most senior member of the Rockefeller family, David is the only surviving child of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and the only surviving grandchild of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil. His five siblings were Abby, John D. III, Nelson, Laurance and Winthrop.
his net worth is estimated at US$ 2.5 billion, ranking him among the 491 richest people in the world. Initially, most of his wealth had come to him via the family trusts that his father had set up, which were administered by Room 5600 and the Chase Bank. In turn, most of these trusts were held as shares in the successor companies of Standard Oil, as well as diverse real estate investment partnerships, such as the expansive Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, which he later sold for considerable profit, retaining only an indirect stake. In addition, he is or has been a partner in various properties such as a resort development in the Virgin Islands and a cattle ranch in Argentina, as well as a sheep ranch in Australia.Investment partnerships in overseas properties — see William Hoffman, David: Report on a Rockefeller, New York: Dell Publishing Co., Inc., 1971. (p.131)
Another major source of asset wealth is his formidable art collection, ranging from impressionist to postmodern, which he developed through the raising of his mother Abby and her establishment, with two associates, of the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1929. He is not a collector of most modern art himself but, as chairman and honorary chairman, has never hindered MoMA's acquisition of the newer works. He has donated many works to MoMA over the decades and more will go there after his death.Art collection and MoMA — Memoirs, (pp. 442-62)
Rockefeller's principal residence is at "Hudson Pines", on the family estate in Westchester County, New York. He also has a Manhattan residence at East 65th Street, as well as a country residence (known as "Four Winds") at a farm in Livingston, New York (Columbia County), where his wife raised Simmenthal beef cattle. He also maintains a summer home on Mount Desert Island off the Maine coast.
The Kykuit area of the family estate is the location of The Pocantico Conference Center of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) — set up by David and his four brothers and one sister in 1940 — which was created when the Fund leased the area from the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1991. Known as the Playhouse, it provides a setting where the Fund and other nonprofit organizations and public sector institutions can bring together people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives to engage in critical world issues.
After the war and alongside his work at Chase, Rockefeller took a more active role in his family's business dealings. Working with his brothers in the two floors of Rockefeller Center known as Room 5600, he reorganized the family's myriad business and philanthropic ventures. The men kept regular "brothers' meetings" where they made decisions on matters of common interest and reported on noteworthy events in each of their lives. David served as secretary to the group, making notes of each meeting. The notes are now in the family archive and will be released in the future.David as secretary and his notes on the "brothers' meetings" not publicly released — Harr & Johnson, op.cit. (pp.530-31, 603n) Following the deaths of his brothers, Winthrop in 1973, John D. III in 1978, Nelson in 1979, and Laurance in 2004, David became sole head of the family (with the important involvement of his son, David Jr.).
David ensured that selected members of the fourth generation, known generically as the cousins, became directly involved in the family's institutions. This involved inviting them to be more active in the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the principal foundation established in 1940 by the five brothers and their one sister. The extended family also became involved in their own philanthropic organization, formed in 1967 and primarily established by third-generation members, called the Rockefeller Family Fund.
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