Legendary banker David Rockefeller dies at 101

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22 March, 2017

He was the last son of philanthropist and financier John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and was the family patriarch since 2004.

Rockefeller was asleep at his home in Pocantico Hills, New York when he died and the cause was congestive heart failure as per a family spokesman, Fraser P. Seitel. A devoted art collector, he chaired New York's Museum of Modern Art for many years, an institution his mother helped found in 1929.

David Rockefeller, the USA banker, philanthropist, presidential adviser and heir to one of history's most fabled fortunes, has died.

The Rockefeller name came to symbolize unpopular US banking policies in debtor countries, and Rockefeller was scorned on the left for working with Chile's Augusto Pinochet and the shah of Iran. His frequent meetings with world leaders helped Chase Manhattan "become the first American bank with operations in those countries", says the Times.

"Because I started sooner, I think I probably knew more heads of state than anyone else, possibly with the exception of Henry Kissinger, but maybe even including" him, Rockefeller said in a December 2003 interview.

Rockefeller was frequently among the wealthiest people in the US who were listed on the Forbes 400 list.

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He married Margaret McGrath in 1940 and had six children. "David was a force of nature, and will continue to drive the Americas Society and Council of the Americas in our mission and work", said AS/COA President and CEO Susan Segal.

Rockefeller was born in New York City, and grew up in an eight-story house at 10 West 54th Street, the tallest private residence ever built in the city. He gave tens of millions of dollars to Harvard University, The Rockefeller University and the Museum of Modern Art.

The banker, who Forbes estimate to have a fortune of $3.3billion, was an influential voice on the world stage and advised many U.S. presidents in his time.

Rockefeller's wife, Peggy, died in 1996. He enlisted in the US Army in 1942, and in various places in World War II, including Southwestern France and Africa, rose to the rank of captain. "David Rockefeller is a gentleman, a statesman, a scholar, and most important, a genuine humanitarian of the likes our nation has rarely seen", the president added.

For his philanthropic efforts, David received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor, in 1998.


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