How David Rockefeller lived and died, the grandson of the richest man in modern history

(ORDO NEWS) — David Rockefeller Sr. (1915-2017) was an American banker, statesman, globalist and philanthropist. Grandson of oil tycoon and first-ever dollar billionaire John D. Rockefeller. Younger brother of the 41st US Vice President Nelson Rockefeller.

David Rockefeller: personal life

The future billionaire was born in 1915. All his childhood passed in luxury and wealth. He knew what the most expensive house was, what the most expensive helicopter looked like, what the most expensive yacht in the world looked like. From a very early age, the grandfather, an oil tycoon, made sure that the child knew how to value money, save it and increase it. It was he who encouraged little David and his brothers to do good deeds, study well, help around the house, paying them certain amounts of money. But at the same time, punishment for bad behavior or being late could also follow. It came in the form of fines. But the most interesting thing is that each of the brothers had a personal accounting (income and expenses), which was strictly maintained by their beloved grandfather.

How David Rockefeller lived and died, the grandson of the richest man in modern history

Studying in this family was given not just a lot of attention, but simply great. After elementary school, Rockefeller easily enrolled at Harvard, then at the University of Chicago at the Faculty of Economics, where he received his Ph.D. Then the war began, and young Dave goes to the front. Starting at the lowest rank, he eventually ends his service as an officer. Being in Algeria, and then in France, he creates his own network, which was engaged in intelligence. This is followed by work in a bank, participation in various family projects. Communication with various influential people in large quantities helped the billionaire in all areas. He greatly appreciated new acquaintances. This is what helped him become an experienced diplomat.

Just before the war, the already successful businessman married Margaret McGrath. In marriage, they had six children, but, unfortunately, the youngest of the sons, Richard, died in a plane crash in 2014.

How David Rockefeller lived and died, the grandson of the richest man in modern history

Billionaire David Rockefeller

From a very young age, Dave realized that in addition to business and career, you need to constantly increase your sphere of influence, acquire new connections and acquaintances. He was in many closed clubs, where they offered the most expensive holidays, one of which could influence most of the events taking place in the world. He was a member of the Trilateral Commission, which dealt with conflict resolution and finding compromises among various countries.

We are used to hearing that some rich people create charitable foundations. But now more and more often it comes to us that this is a hoax, no one does charity work, but only creates an appearance. The same cannot be said for David Rockefeller. The New York Times published its own calculation of the funds that he spent on charity. And it amounted to no more, no less, but 1 billion dollars. And after receiving a diploma from Harvard University, the university received a reward of $ 100 million. This university has not yet seen a larger contribution. David believed that if a person cannot share money, then there is no point in being rich.

Early years. Military service

David Rockefeller was born in 1915, the youngest of six children of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. David’s father was the only son of John Davison Rockefeller Sr., founder of Standard Oil and the richest man in history. David’s mother was Abby Aldrich Green, the daughter of one of the leaders of the Republican Party, Nelson Aldrich.

The press called their marriage a union of two of the most influential families in the United States. In his memoirs, David Rockefeller devotes a lot of time to the life of the family and the habits of his legendary relatives.

From childhood, David was instilled with the realization that he was one of the heirs of the Rockefellers and was responsible for this. The upbringing proved to be effective, and each of the five brothers achieved significant success. The Rockefellers were a religious family. Each day began with a 15-minute prayer. It was impossible to be distracted – for this there was a punishment.

David studied at the New York private Lincoln School. It did not belong to the elite class of educational institutions, the cost of education was low, and therefore children from different families studied there. David was sent to school at age 5 and graduated at 16.

Rockefeller claims that the emphasis on individual work in the school curriculum helped him cope with the teaching load. He suffered from dyslexia, but this had little effect on academic performance at Lincoln. History was Rockefeller’s favorite subject.

He fully felt the shortcomings of school education and the consequences of dyslexia while studying at the economics department of Harvard University. I overcame the first course with difficulty, although in general I studied well. During his senior year, David decided to pursue a career in international banking and completed his postgraduate studies with a Ph.D.

He spent a year at the London Business School. He studied German while living in a boarding house in Germany in 1933. He spoke negatively about Nazism and Hitler. In 1934, David’s father established trust funds for children and his wife, into which he directed $ 60 million. This was done in order to avoid inheritance taxes. The amount in their accounts increased, and as a result, most of the Rockefeller fortune ended up there.

After receiving his doctorate, Rockefeller, under the patronage of state official Anna Rosenberg, began working as secretary to the mayor of New York. In 1941 he moved to the Department of Defense, Health and Welfare. Anna Rosenberg led it in New York, and David received the position of her assistant.

Rosenberg made David responsible for part of the territory in the west of the state. Factories opened there, which entailed a number of social problems that needed to be addressed. In the process, I had to learn how to negotiate and find a way out of spontaneously arising problems.

In 1942, David voluntarily enlisted in the army. He began his service as a private, although he could use his father’s influence and become an officer. After training, he served as a corporal on guard duty in Miami Beach and worked as a courier. In 1943, Rockefeller graduated from officer school and became a lieutenant in the engineering troops.

Then he was trained as an intelligence officer at Camp Rich and for several months was an instructor in the French department of this intelligence school. In the fall of 1943, Rockefeller was sent to Algiers, where he was destined to serve in Eisenhower’s troops.

The main reason for this appointment was that David knew French. He was engaged in the creation of a network of agents, which he coped with quite successfully. In 1945 he served as assistant to the military attache in Paris and was promoted to captain.

However, his powers in this post were much broader: based on contacts in the de Gaulle government, he organized an intelligence unit and began to collect information on the activities and competition of French intelligence services, government disputes and the problems of the French economy.

Rockefeller was demobilized after the war. He claimed that his period of military service had an extremely positive effect on him, teaching him the importance of networking.

Joining Chase National Bank

In 1946, after some hesitation about returning to the Department of Defense, Health and Social Economics, Rockefeller, on the advice of his uncle Winthrop Aldrich, went to work at Chase National Bank. Aldrich was chairman of the bank, and Rockefeller Sr. controlled a 4% stake, considered the largest shareholder. David claimed that, despite the latter, his family did not influence the leadership in any way.

Chase National Bank at that time was a somewhat paradoxical structure. One of the largest banks in the world with the strongest shareholders lagged significantly behind competitors in terms of organization and planning.

Chase had no budget and no business plan. Despite the obvious advantage that all the bankers of the bank “grew” from clerks, this circumstance played against Chase, since the employees had no desire to learn new disciplines and develop their horizons.

David started his career as an Assistant Manager in the Foreign Department. It was a low position with a salary of $ 3.5 thousand. He served in this position for three years. Thanks to the rotation, he managed to participate in the work of each of the 33 divisions of the foreign department of the bank. Despite the fact that Rockefeller gained valuable experience, he found such a structure too cumbersome.

His first task was to attract new customers to branches in Paris and London, but he did not achieve much success in this. Rockefeller himself asked for a transfer to the Latin American division in 1947.

How David Rockefeller lived and died, the grandson of the richest man in modern history

Chase National Bank controlled 50% of the deposit market in Panama, financed sugar production and exports in Cuba, but was very poorly represented in Puerto Rico. According to Rockefeller, the bank had every chance to strengthen its position.

In Panama, David secured the opening of a bank branch in the province of Chiriqui and began to issue loans to pastoralists. Chase received livestock on bail. The initiative led to increased revenue, the development of the pastoral business in Panama, as well as the creation of Chase’s reputation as a bank that helps improve the well-being of local residents. In Cuba, a plan to buy a stake in a large local bank failed.

Rockefeller’s most notable success was in Puerto Rico, where Chase National Bank had previously performed very poorly. The governor of this country was Luis Munoz Marin. Rockefeller was familiar with him and used his desire for development to his advantage. Chase National Bank gave loans to entrepreneurs who wanted to buy government companies. Gradually, Chase National Bank strengthened its position and began to open branches in major cities.

Employees were recruited in Puerto Rico, and the practice spread to other countries in Latin America. It was easier to innovate at work here than in Europe. In the early 50s, the branch system in the Caribbean region became the most developing in the company.

The tried and tested business model, which included launching new types of lending, opening branches and buying shares in banks operating in the country, came to be seen by Rockefeller as key to development in other parts of the world.

In 1949, Rockefeller became vice president and took control of all operations in Latin America. He had already proven himself in this market and had a chance to achieve further success. David’s main interest was South America, and he planned to expand into this region. Then Chase National Bank successfully financed the export trade of Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil.

Once in control, Rockefeller began to introduce new operations. One of his first ideas was the provision of loans to states. For this, friendly relations were established with the central banks of these countries. Rockefeller did not skimp and supported very risky stocks like a $30 million loan to Brazil with a coffee crop as collateral. Peru received the same amount. Instead of collateral, government guarantees were taken to accept the IMF’s proposed fiscal reforms.

Such transactions were associated with risk, which led to the dissatisfaction of other leaders of Chase National Bank. This began a long conflict between Rockefeller and George Champion, head of the Bank’s Economic Development Board.

In September 1952, Rockefeller was promoted to senior vice president and given charge of the New York chapters. David took the initiative and proposed to the president of the bank, Percy Abbott, a plan developed with another leader for the reorganization of the bank.

It was planned to introduce three new departments – “United States”, which combined the entire corporate business of the bank, “Special Industries”, dealing with companies in industries ranging from oil to electricity. The third new division was the “Metropolitan”, responsible for the New York branches.

From the old structure, three departments have also been preserved – “Foreign”, “Trust” and “Department of Bonds”. Each was headed by a vice president who reported directly to the president of the bank. The new structure was successful, and even George Champion supported it.

Chase National Bank merged with Manhattan Bank in 1955. Chase Manhattan Bank formed by them became one of the largest banks in the world. Rockefeller argues that the merger of both banks and the attempt to create a more efficient corporate structure led to difficulties and struggles between the proponents of the old approaches and modernization.

Among the first was George Champion, who opposed the new changes and the partial loss of independence. Opposition yielded nothing, and the intended changes were implemented in 1956.

Rockefeller was responsible for moving the company to its new headquarters. The choice fell on the Guaranty Trust building in lower Manhattan. The deal to sell it to another company was almost completed, but Chase managed to intercept the purchase. On the site of the building, construction began on a new headquarters, which was controlled by Rockefeller.

The creation of Chase Manhattan Bank and the new headquarters did not end the conflict between Rockefeller and Champion. David was a supporter of reform, new directions and expansion, while Champion was a conservative, satisfied with the role of Chase Manhattan Bank at the national level.

Both of them were talented people with successful careers. In the late 1950s, Champion became chief operating officer and president, but Rockefeller did not report to him, as he became vice chairman and reported directly to Jack McCloy, who served as chairman of the board and executive director.

The Rockefeller group focused on marketing, management development, employee relations, operational matters, and public relations.

The innovations promoted in this direction did not bother Champion much – he worked in the field of lending. But Rockefeller was not so simple, his direction included structures involved in economic research and organizational planning. Rockefeller called them the “Trojan horse”, which allowed the bank to move in the right direction.

The interests of Rockefeller and the Champion were bound to intersect sooner or later, but while David was busy with the administrative apparatus, the situation looked calm.

Rockefeller controlled the “Special Operations” department. He was entrusted with the work of expanding in other countries and introducing new financial functions. Both of these directions retained their independence and became rather allies.

How David Rockefeller lived and died, the grandson of the richest man in modern history

In 1953, US President Dwight Eisenhower decided to rely on the American private sector to finance foreign trade. Prior to this, the area of ​​medium-term financing was controlled by the US Export-Import Bank (“Eximbank”), and other banks neglected it. Now the tide had changed, and Rockefeller saw this as an opportunity for Chase.

Having agreed on cooperation with other banks, the company prepared to act in a new direction. For some time, the bank’s management communicated with their colleagues from Eximbank, who were obliged to assist. Together, they achieved nothing because of customer complaints about Eximbank. The red tape, the cost of funding, and delays caused dissatisfaction.

In 1955, Chase management created the American Overseas Finance Corporation joint venture. The partners pledged to purchase $10 million worth of shares. McCloy became chairman and Rockefeller took over as director. A year later, the company’s assets amounted to $11 million, and it committed to purchase securities for $22 million.

The modest figure was not bad to begin with, but things did not progress further due to a potential conflict with the US Department of the Treasury. It all ended with the sale of AOFC and exit from business in 1957.

Dual power at Chase Manhattan Bank

In 1960, McCloy had to leave the positions of chairman and CEO, and the election of a successor led to another round of struggle between Rockefeller and Champion. The council, due to the fact that David devoted more time to the administrative part and was 11 years younger than his opponent, was inclined to appoint the Champion.

Rockefeller was ready to leave in case of failure, which no one wanted. This led to lengthy debates and negotiations. A compromise solution was put forward – Champion was appointed chairman, and Rockefeller – president. Both candidates become chief executive officers. Decisions regarding bank policy were to be made jointly.

The Champion was given responsibility for daily operations. Compromise was the only way out, but Rockefeller did not immediately agree to the proposed conditions. He needed enough power to be able to challenge his opponent’s decisions. David demanded his appointment as head of the executive committee, and also insisted that it be signed by both parties.

The champion made a deal, but this only increased the enmity between them. The bank turned out to have two managers who had the right to block each other’s decisions and did not get along particularly well with each other, which inevitably led to an escalation of the conflict. McCloy handed over the bank to them in perfect order – in the US market, he was second only to Bank of America, the bank’s assets amounted to almost $ 9 billion, and operating profit – $ 72 million.

Problems began with trifles like taste disagreements in the field of art. Rockefeller decided to install a bas-relief created from welded bumpers in the lobby. Champion preferred classical rather than contemporary art. When the installation began, the staff informed him about the strange work of art, and he banned it. A year later, Rockefeller nevertheless installed a bas-relief.

Partners as a whole often blocked each other’s decisions in the leadership process. Compromises were not always found, but on issues of development in the US market, they usually converged. The turmoil was mainly caused by Rockefeller’s plans for international integration.

In the 1960s, Rockefeller began his plans to expand to other countries. One of David’s key interests was Latin America, in which he did not have time to implement plans for integration. He was also interested in Brazil and Venezuela.

In the early 1960s, Rockefeller learned through his brother Nelson that Sul America chairman Antonio Larragoiti was about to sell a controlling stake in Banco Hipotecário Lar Brasileiro. The deal was estimated at $ 3 million. The champion was not happy, but Rockefeller got his way. In 1980, Chase Manhattan Bank bought out the remaining stake in this bank, and then renamed it Banco Chase Manhattan.

In 1961, Rockefeller became interested in the Venezuelan bank Banco Mercantil y Agrícola. He was personally acquainted with the president of the bank and was soon able to secure a deal. Chase Manhattan Bank acquired 42% of Banco Mercantil for $14 million. The bank’s assets were $72 million.

In a similar vein, the bank worked in the markets of other countries – Peru, Argentina, Honduras and others. At times, the work was complicated by local politicians and governments, but on the whole the integration was successful, and Rockefeller considered entering markets in other parts of the world.

In 1963, his attention was drawn to the Canadian Toronto Dominion Bank, which has about 600 branches and assets of $ 2.2 billion. Rockefeller considered buying 40%, and the bank’s management was not opposed. However, the transaction amount was about $60 million.

The champion did not support Rockefeller’s initiatives, but he did not oppose either. In this case, he offered to ask American corporate clients if the purchase would be beneficial for them. The last idea was indifferent, and the Champion used the situation to delay the decision.

In Canada, a law has begun to advance that foreign institutions and individuals can only own 10% in local banks. Rockefeller tried to prevent its adoption through his connections, but to no avail. The deal fell through.

How David Rockefeller lived and died, the grandson of the richest man in modern history

It was easier to enter the European market. By the early 1970s, Chase Manhattan Bank had a branch in every major European capital. In the 1960s, the presence in Asia also increased. Work in this direction, in view of the active development of the region that began in the 70s, can be considered a personal success of Rockefeller, who was then engaged in forecasting at Manhattan Chase Bank.

Until 1957, the bank owned one branch in Bombay and two in Japan. In 1963, the Dutch National Trade Bank managed to acquire a number of branches in Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore. The price was loyal – $ 2.5 million. By the end of the 60s, branches were opened in South Korea, Malaysia, Jakarta and South Vietnam.

An attempt was also made to enter the African market. The bank opened branches in Johannesburg, Lagos and Monrovia. For further development on this continent, the company bought a 14.5% stake in Standard Bank, one of the leaders in the field of financial services in emerging markets. Among the shareholders was also the British National Westminster Bank.

Rockefeller believed that Chase needed to increase its share in order to take part in the global activities of Standard Bank. The champion and head of Standard Bank Hawker were opposed to this initiative. Rockefeller tried to implement his plans by negotiating with the National Westminster Bank. They were going to increase the shares to 20%.

Hawker learned of this and retaliated by pursuing a merger with Charter Bank that dropped Chase’s stake to less than 10%. But that was only part of the plan. It turned out that Charter Bank owned a small bank in San Francisco. This meant that Chase violated the US law on the prohibition of having departments in other states. Standard Charter Bank refused to sell this branch, and at the request of the US authorities, Rockefeller had to give up his stake. This weakened Chase’s position in Africa.

Sole management of Chase Manhattan Bank

Champion’s career at Chase Manhattan Bank ended in 1969 when he retired at retirement age. From that moment on, Rockefeller received the position of chairman, but still not full control of the bank. The champion remained on the board of directors, interfered with Rockefeller’s initiatives and “saved” the bank from his ideas. David endured for two years, but then convinced the board to lower the maximum age of directors to 68. The champion was just 68 and had to leave.

As chairman, Rockefeller still had to go through mistakes and mistrust. Employees knew that he had no experience in credit operations and were skeptical about his chances of success. One of David’s first mistakes was the appointment of Herb Patterson to the presidency. The latter immediately began to prove that Rockefeller was mistaken in him. At a party that preceded David’s accession to the post, Patterson went over cocktails and got into a fight with one of the top managers, Charlie Agemyan.

For two years, Patterson coped with his duties, but then Rockefeller began to notice that the functions assigned to the president began to be performed worse. He did not make decisions and did not allow Rockefeller to be asked for this. He spent most of the day in his office. When Rockefeller realized what was happening, it had already greatly affected the work of the bank. He fired Patterson and replaced him with Willard Butcher.

One of Rockefeller’s successes at the head of Chase Manhattan Bank was the entry into the USSR market. In 1964, he personally communicated with Nikita Khrushchev. Rockefeller’s memoirs have an entire chapter devoted to conversation.

In 1971, Chase Manhattan Bank helped the USSR finance a major grain purchase, and in 1973 opened a branch in Moscow. Chase became the first US bank to obtain a license in the USSR. Rockefeller came to the Soviet Union more than once and talked with Brezhnev, Kosygin and Gorbachev.

Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev and David Rockefeller

In 1973, the oil crisis began. Chase and a number of international banks were tasked with recycling dollars and supporting the international trading and financial system.

Rockefeller had to work hard and hard. He provided assistance to banks in different countries. Among them was Italy, where the balance of payments deficit amounted to several billion, and the state did not have enough money to buy oil. Rockefeller was acquainted with the head of the Bank of Italy, Guido Carli, and, at his request, issued a loan of $ 250 million.

How David Rockefeller lived and died, the grandson of the richest man in modern history

In the 70s, the company successfully expanded into the markets of the Middle East and North Africa. In 1970, she jointly owned a bank in Dubai, had a branch in Lebanon and a representative office in Bahrain. Rockefeller opened a representative office in Tunisia, a branch in Jordan. Joint banks were also created in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Kuwait and other countries. A decisive role in these processes was played by personal acquaintance with the majority of the rulers of the region.

In the mid-70s, Chase Manhattan Bank was going through hard times. He faced significant losses in his real estate portfolio that brought Chase Manhattan Mortgage and Realty Trust to the brink of bankruptcy. Problems arose with operations management systems, which led to a drop in service levels and lower revenues. They were connected with the computerization of this direction.

The revision of the trading report cost $33 million. The press broke into high-profile stories about the failure of the bank and that Rockefeller should have fired himself. The situation was complicated by the success of Citibank, the main competitor, which managed to bypass Chase in all financial indicators. Rockefeller almost lost his job because of the problems that arose.

The businessman tried to save the Chase Manhattan Mortgage and Realty Trust with the help of a leadership reshuffle, for which he organized a group to study the situation, make calculations and search for alternatives.

It turned out that the bank’s investment in Chase Manhattan Mortgage and Realty Trust was four times the cost of capital of this fund. Chase’s liabilities to the trust fund amounted to 10% of the bank’s assets. Bankruptcy would have resulted in other fund lenders demanding subordination of the Chase Manhattan Bank loan, which would have exhausted it entirely. Litigation with creditors would lead to financial costs, reputational damage and a drop in the value of shares.

Thanks to the reports provided by the council and the action plan, Rockefeller kept his job and got time to correct the situation. The real estate trust’s rescue strategy was to purchase $210 million of its loans. Chase was to provide the fund with $34 million in new loans for projects in progress and, along with other lenders, reduce the interest charged to the Chase Manhattan Mortgage and Realty Trust.

Already in 1977, Rockefeller and Butcher were able to introduce new computer systems, solve problems with operations and stabilize the situation in the mortgage trust fund. But the bank’s revival dragged on until the end of the decade.

Chase Manhattan Mortgage and Realty Trust nevertheless went bankrupt in 1979, but thanks to the measures taken, the consequences were not so severe. From 1975 to 1979, the bank wrote off $600 million in real estate loans, and total expenses reached almost $1 billion. Chase Manhattan Bank made up for the losses due to the success of other lines.

Restoring Chase Manhattan was a matter of honor for Rockefeller. In 1980, he turned 65 years old, and he was obliged to leave the leadership due to age. Therefore, he promptly launched a massive bank recovery program. The changes concerned the administrative part. He introduced an annual personnel review system to identify the most talented employees. The rapid growth of salaries and bonuses began to depend on the results achieved.

The bank’s corporate culture has also changed. Prior to Rockefeller’s sole tenure as chairman and CEO of Chase, the bank operated in a structure with little interaction between departments. The heads of some units behaved like appanage princes, and internal competition led to problems.

Rockefeller restructured and created three divisions – personal banking, institutional banking and corporate banking.

To achieve great results, the concept of corporate social responsibility was introduced. To consolidate leaders in this direction, several differences were introduced from the standard practice at that time.

2% of net annual income was allocated to charity. The money was channeled to a group of organizations carefully chosen by management. The decision committee included all senior administrative leaders. The main goal was to establish a dialogue between top managers, work in a team and the opportunity to learn from each other.

Part of the changes in Chase was a new strategy. In the early 1970s, the main activity of the bank was lending to large companies. Due to increased competition, profits dropped significantly, and it was necessary to change the approach. The first innovation was independent expansion in the capital and investment markets. To this end, the Chase Manhattan structure in London appeared. Rockefeller did not limit himself to Europe and soon bought a certificate of incorporation of the Hong Kong Merchant Bank for just $6, which turned into Chase Manhattan Asia.

Another key focus of the new strategy was to promote retail sales of home mortgages and other products throughout the United States. To do this, Rockefeller used a loophole in the law. It was forbidden to accept deposits outside the territory of New York Chase, but it was possible to open offices to promote services in other states. Despite the fears and disagreement of some leaders, the direction turned out to be profitable.

The last important direction was the provision of personal service. This includes custody services, investment advice, trust services and more. For this, the Chase Investor Management Corporation was formed, which successfully attracted investors and met all the expectations placed on it.

How David Rockefeller lived and died, the grandson of the richest man in modern history

The entire set of measures described above, starting with the introduction of a corporate culture and ending with a new strategy, was aimed at restoring the bank’s position. In 1976, the board was presented with an ambitious three-year revenue plan that expected $310 million in revenue by 1979. The board was rather skeptical about the plan, but Rockefeller was confident it would be achieved. In 1979, revenue was $311 million.

The following year, Rockefeller left the position of chief executive officer, and a year later he also left the post of chairman. Under his sole leadership, Chase has grown into an international bank operating in 70 countries with 63 branches and 70 representative offices abroad. Moreover, the latter direction brought in most of the income, which almost tripled within a decade.

Rockefeller retained his position as chairman of the Bank’s International Advisory Committee, served on the Arts Committee, and acted as a sort of consultant.

Charity, personal views, Bilderberg and other projects

The Rockefellers are considered to be one of the biggest benefactors in the world, and David has always maintained this reputation. During his lifetime, he donated more than $1 billion, $100 million of which went to Harvard University.

One of the most important points of his charitable activities was New York. Rockefeller was chairman of the Partnership for the City of New York, which engages the business elite to develop the city’s economy and maintain its position as one of the world’s centers of investment, trade and finance.

Membership in this organization is very prestigious, and the chairmanship is even more so. Rockefeller actively participated in many initiatives, personally contributed to the construction of thousands of apartments for families with low and middle incomes, as well as the introduction of innovations in schools.

During the New York financial crisis, Rockefeller was among the main actors and tried to involve the private sector in the solution, and did everything possible to restore the city’s economy.

David Rockefeller was longtime chairman of the New York Museum of Modern Art. He helped expand the museum building and acquired art for it. Campaigned for companies to buy and display artwork in offices, and to subsidize museums. The collection of works of art collected by Rockefeller during his life reached 15 thousand copies.

David Rockefeller’s fortune was $ 3.3 billion. It included both the family inheritance and the money he earned. David’s father left a fortune of $ 157 million, but the children did not get it, but was distributed between the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the second wife of John Davison II.

The children were quite satisfied with the money previously transferred to their trust funds, they also inherited a variety of real estate and the mother’s art collection.

David’s brothers have been successful in various fields. Most of the attention is usually given to Nelson Rockefeller, who after the resignation of Nixon became Vice President of the United States.

In 1968, Nelson offered David to take the post of US Attorney General, but he refused, not wanting to be charged with using family ties to obtain public office. Several times Rockefeller was offered a seat in the US cabinet. Nixon wanted him as Secretary of the Treasury and made two proposals five years apart. In both cases, Rockefeller refused.

Politics has been attractive to Rockefeller since his youth. During his life, he managed to meet with the heads of 200 states and governments. The reasons ranged from advancing the interests of Chase Manhattan Bank to aid from the United States. The latter included a meeting with Saddam Hussein at the request of Kissinger. Rockefeller was able to meet with the head of Iraq thanks to acquaintances in the Middle East, but their dialogue did not lead to a change in relations between the countries.

The biography of David Rockefeller is filled with legends and conspiracy theories. Many of them are associated with Rockefeller’s participation in the American Council on Foreign Policy in New York, the Bilderberg Club and several other organizations.

If we discard the dubious quality of the conspiracy theory that the Rockefellers seized power over the world, then the only official source that the media and biographers prefer to rely on is the memoirs of David Rockefeller. In them, he mentions that he was a member of the US Foreign Policy Council group headed by Henry Kissinger, which studied the impact of nuclear weapons on international relations.

The Council also studied and discussed issues regarding the Vietnam War, relations with the USSR, China’s opening to the outside world, conflicts in the Middle East, and much more.

In 1970, David Rockefeller took over as chairman of the council and held it for 15 years. This made him one of the most influential people in the United States, but it is difficult to assess the real scale and success of his activities.

The Bilderberg Club is a discussion group that brings together politicians, influential bankers, economists, businessmen and government officials. They meet once a year. During the conference, people who influence national politics and international relations get the opportunity to meet and discuss pressing issues in a relaxed atmosphere.

How David Rockefeller lived and died, the grandson of the richest man in modern history

Access to the club is possible only by personal invitation. Opinions on the goals of the conference vary depending on the source – from discussing world problems to the creation of a trans-European state under US control.

Rockefeller was a member of several other organizations. The most interesting of them is the Trilateral Commission, created on the initiative of a businessman in 1973. It includes representatives from North America, Western Europe and Asia. The Commission is engaged in the study and discussion of global issues and problems, including: international investment and trade, ecology, the fight against drug addiction and crime.

For three years, the organization existed in a test mode, and then began to work on a regular basis. The first meeting of the executive committee was held in Tokyo in 1973. Presentations were made on the financial and political relations between the three parties. The data obtained has been published.

A year later, the topic of discussion was the oil crisis. To this day, the Commission is called by some sources almost a world government. The role in this was played by the admission of George Carter, who, a week after the meeting of the executive committee in Washington, decided to participate in the US presidential election. Carter won and from the point of view of the public it looked suspicious. David Rockefeller served as president of the commission until the end of his life.

Rockefeller was also criticized for the peculiarities of his worldview. He is credited with saying that the world is now more directed towards the creation of a world government than before. In addition, he highlighted the negative aspects of population growth and supported the need for birth control.

The main topics of discussion after the death of Rockefeller concern the heirs to the state and the fate of the organizations that he headed. The banker was married once. He has six children from this marriage. At the moment, only five are alive. Richard Rockefeller died in a plane crash in 2014.

David Rockefeller and his wife

Margaret McGrath was the daughter of a partner and the head of a law firm. firm, later became the wife of the richest man in the world. The family life of the Rockefellers was filled with love and passion. David not only loved his wife, he adored her. That’s probably why he never cheated on her. Their marriage was built on more than just trust. They had very different hobbies and interests. Therefore, each of them led his own personal little life, which did not intersect with the other spouse.

Margaret was a very smart woman, she never interfered in her husband’s affairs, did not give any advice. He, in turn, did not teach her how to run a household, raise children and what to do. Due to his calm nature, quarrels in this family were rare. Perhaps that is why their marriage lasted until the death of Margaret. She died in 1996.

David Rockefeller and his family

All six Rockefeller children were raised with love and care. Each of them received a good education. He had two sons, David Jr. and Richard, and four daughters, Abby (Abigail), Neva, Peggy Dyulaney and Eileen. Each of them has his soul mate and children. In total, Dave Sr. has 10 grandchildren.


It took David a long 12 years to take the chair of vice president of Chase National Bank. But he could be sure of the reliability of his position – he knew the system to the smallest screws. It was practical experience that allowed Rockefeller to unite two of the most powerful US structures – Chase National Bank and Bank of Manhattan. For many years, such a merger was considered almost impossible. Chase Manhattan Bank has become one of the largest banks in the world.

Over 20 years of work, David has visited bank branches in all states, traveled to a hundred countries and ate 10,000 business lunches. Every day, Rockefeller held a minimum of 10 meetings. “How can you be successful while sitting in the office?” the workaholic banker wondered. The financier drew strength from communicating with his wife, children and an unusual hobby – collecting beetles. A unique scarab from the mountains of Mexico is even named in his honor. “I would have ruined the business long ago if I drank and went to nightclubs,” Rockefeller emphasized more than once.

He left the prestigious post himself, having reached the maximum age for this position of 66 years. “Other things and accomplishments await me,” the rich man only smiled modestly. The surname Rockefeller has long been a symbol of indecent wealth. However, David had a very modest capital. According to various estimates – no more than 3 billion dollars. With such “penny” one cannot get into the hundred of the richest people on the planet. At the same time, he is the most generous patron of the 20th century.


“What good is money if you can’t share it with people?” – often repeated Rockefeller. And he didn’t lie. The total amount of all his donations is equal to 1 billion dollars! The largest hospital for cancer patients was built in the United States at the expense of the banker, as well as a network of shelters for the homeless. A check for 100 million Harvard graduate wrote to his favorite university – to develop the humanities and expand student internships. This gift is an absolute record for 380 years of the existence of the university.

David Rockefeller is one of the few romantic patrons. He sincerely believed that with the help of money many problems of the Earth could be solved. Over the years, he discussed the future of mankind with Charles de Gaulle, Nikita Khrushchev, Fidel Castro, Alexei Kosygin, the last Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

When it became clear that the days of the USSR were numbered, it was Rockefeller who first extended a helping hand to Gorbachev. The politician and financier met in Russia in 1989. David transferred 75 million dollars to the accounts of Mikhail Sergeevich’s public fund. The union of the two world leaders was not positively assessed by everyone. “Gorbachev ruined the country at the behest of Washington,” Russian newspapers wrote…

Rockefeller’s social activity has not declined over the years. Even at the turn of the century, he continued to improve the world. In late 2010, the billionaire joined the Giving Pledge, a public campaign organized by the world’s richest people, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. Its essence is simple: spend 50% of your income on charity.

“Humanity must change if it wants to survive,” Rockefeller told the UN. “Either we regulate the birth rate, or we destroy the Earth with waste and emissions.” Unfortunately, a decade ago, he was not heard …
David Rockefeller lived an amazing life. He owned a fortune, but knew how to get by with little; he worked day and night, but always found time for his family; belonged to the elite of the world, but worried about the fate of all mankind. He underwent 6 heart transplants, the last of which was at the age of 99!.


The billionaire died on March 20, 2017 – in his sleep, at the age of 102. The cause of death of David Rockefeller is believed to be the stoppage of his sixth heart. On his last journey, he was accompanied by 5 children and 10 grandchildren. “As a child, I was not sure that I would become a financier,” the banker once admitted. “But I knew for sure that I was born for more.”


Rockefeller’s fortune is estimated at $3.3 billion. Perhaps it is not the largest (only 581 places in the Forbes ranking), but the level of influence of the head of the clan, which is equated with the level of mystery to the Masonic order, is difficult to overestimate.

How did Rockefeller help the CIA?

David Rockefeller’s ties to the Central Intelligence Agency are legendary. However, the truth is much simpler. David Rockefeller has been a friend and relative of the first director of the CIA, Allen Dulles, since the days when there was no CIA. They studied together at Harvard. And when Allen Dulles, after the US entered World War II, was actually assigned to head American intelligence and establish communications with the British allies, he conducted all his operations from an office located in Rockefeller Center in New York. Friendship with Dulles and his brother, John Foster Dulles, US Secretary of State during Eisenhower’s presidency, made David Rockefeller one of the most informed people in the US and around the world. On the personal orders of Allen Dulles, as Rockefeller biographers insist, David received detailed information about all the important covert CIA operations. This continued after Allen Dulles left the post of director of the CIA. By this time, David had many acquaintances and even friends in management.

How masters of culture and scientists waited for the death of Rockefeller

At a time when David Rockefeller was just starting his career, the banking business was considered the lot of gentlemen. The lot of gentlemen was also charity, or rather, patronage. And David Rockefeller strongly supported it. In the late forties, he joined the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and later became its chairman. He, along with his brother Nelson, bought Gertrude Stein’s famous collection of modern art from Gertrude Stein and donated it to the museum. The pearls of his own collection – Cezanne, Gauguin, Matisse, Picasso – were transferred to the museum forever. However, all major patrons are divided into two main types – those who immediately give money as soon as they appear to him, and those who leave large donations in a will. David Rockefeller, despite the fact that he donated significant funds and during his lifetime (in 1994 he donated $ 25 million to his native Harvard University, for example), he belonged to the second type of patrons. In the year of his 90th birthday, he promised the Museum of Modern Art to donate $ 5 million annually, and after his death – $ 100 million. He bequeathed another $ 100 million to Rockefeller University, the same amount to Harvard. Finally, $225 million will go to the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, which he created with five of his brothers.


David Rockefeller is credited with a phrase that he allegedly uttered at a meeting of the Bilderberg Club in Baden-Baden, Germany, in 1991:

“We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time magazine, and other distinguished publications whose leaders have been attending our meetings for nearly forty years and respecting their confidentiality. We would not be able to develop our plan for the world order if all these years the spotlights were turned on us. But in our time, the world is more sophisticated and ready to step towards world government. The supranational sovereignty of the intellectual elite and world bankers is undoubtedly preferable to the national self-determination practiced in past centuries.

Famous Rockefeller quotes

In 2002, David Rockefeller presented the world with his autobiographical book The Banker in the 20th Century. Memoirs”, in which he lifted the veil of some of the secrets of his success. On page 405 of the “Memoirs” there is another “loud” quote from Rockefeller:

“For over a hundred years now, ideological extremists at all ends of the political spectrum have enthusiastically referred to certain well-known events, such as my bad experience with Castro, to blame the Rockefeller family for the all-encompassing menacing influence they claim we exert. on American political and economic institutions. Some even believe that we are part of a secret political group working against the interests of the United States and characterize my family and me as “internationalists” colluding with other groups around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure – one world. , if you like. If that’s the charge, then I plead guilty and I’m proud of it.”

Interesting facts of David Rockefeller

How David Rockefeller lived and died, the grandson of the richest man in modern history

A lot of people are trying to unearth any interesting facts of the Rockefeller clan. But the media receive only the information that they are allowed to.

  1. Probably the most unusual will be David’s hobby. And it is unusual because he was fond of neither cars nor women, and for many years he collected beetles. Thanks to this, they discovered five species of these insects. From a young age, he took a jar with him on various trips, in which he carefully collected his future collection. Currently, there are about forty thousand copies. The richest man in the world was convinced that children simply needed good teachers. Indeed, thanks to his teacher, he fell in love with history and natural science.
  2. Having a calm and gentle nature, Dave did not like various squabbles and family scenes. Therefore, his personal life was filled with peace and love. He was very upset when people thought that he received his fortune by inheritance, and not through long years of study and work.
  3. The billionaire advised to travel more. This is how you can not only learn a lot of interesting things, but also make new acquaintances that you may need in life.
  4. This famous person has undergone seven (7) heart transplants, the first of which was performed back in 1976 after a terrible car accident. But it hadn’t even been two weeks before he started running in the park. He received his last heart a year and a half before his death, in 2015. He was sure that now he could easily live up to two hundred years.


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