David Rockefeller, American banker who was chairman and chief executive of Chase Manhattan Corporation, died on Monday morning at his home in New York. He was 101.
In 1946, Rockefeller had joined the staff of the long-time family-associated Chase National Bank. The chairman at that time was Rockefeller's uncle Winthrop W Aldrich. The Chase Bank was primarily a wholesale bank, dealing with other prominent financial institutions and major corporate clients such as General Electric. Chase National subsequently became the Chase Manhattan Bank in 1955 and shifted significantly into consumer banking. It is now called JPMorgan Chase.
In a private capacity, Rockefeller has met with and advised every American President since Dwight D Eisenhower and has at times even served as an unofficial emissary on high-level diplomatic missions. Former President Jimmy Carter had offered him the positions of United States Secretary of the Treasury and Federal Reserve Chairman, but he declined both instead preferring a private role.
He had also declined an offer from his brother Nelson to appoint him to Robert F Kennedy's Senate seat after Kennedy was assassinated in June 1968, a post Nelson also offered to their nephew John Davison Rockefeller IV.
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 was the youngest of six children born to financier John Davison Rockefeller Jr. and socialite Abigail Greene Aldrich.
John Jr. was the only son of Standard Oil co-founder John Davison Rockefeller Sr. and schoolteacher Laura Celestia Spelman. Abby was a daughter of Senator Nelson Wilmarth Aldrich and Abigail Pearce Truman Chapman.
Rockefeller was the oldest living member of the Rockefeller family and family patriarch since July 2004.