U.S. billionaire David Rockefeller dies at 101

His spokesperson Fraser P Seitel said the banker died peacefully in his sleep in his Pocantico Hills home in NY on Monday morning.

The five Rockefeller brothers posing together in September 1967 in front of a mural at an awards ceremony in NY, during which each received a gold medal for "distinguished service to humanity" from the National Institute of Social Sciences.

David Rockefeller was born on June 12, 1915 as a sixth child to John D Rockefeller and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller.

David graduated from Harvard University in 1936 then earned a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago. He was the president of Chase Manhattan by 1961 and eventually replaced co-chief executive George Champion in 1961.

From 1940 to 1941 he was secretary to New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and in 1942 he enlisted in the US Army, serving in military intelligence in North Africa and France.

David Rockefeller, a billionaire businessman who was the last of his generation in the famous Rockefeller family has died.

After the war, he joined Chase Manhattan Bank (now Chase Bank), which the family controlled, and rose through the ranks. The next generation is known as 'the cousins, ' are far more numerous.

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.

Then, during New York's mid-'70s fiscal crisis, Rockefeller took the lead in recruiting the private sector to help craft a rescue plan that allowed the city to escape bankruptcy. To mark his 100th birthday in 2015, Rockefeller gave 1,000 acres of land to the state of Maine, The Associated Press reported. David was mainly known for running Chase National Bank for years and according to Forbes, he had a net worth of an estimated $3.3 billion, which made him the world's 604th richest person. He calls Rockefeller one of the "brightest Points of Light". Rockefeller is said to have donated nearly $2 billion over his lifetime to various institutions including Rockefeller University, Harvard University and art museums.

As a business statesman, Rockefeller preached capitalism at home and favored assisting economies overseas according to grounds of bringing prosperity to the Third World would create customers who wanted American products.

"I think we were brought up both in what was said, but more importantly what was done by members of the family, to feel that we were exceptionally fortunate in having resources and opportunities that many people don't, and that with opportunity goes responsibility", he said.

Mr Rockefeller was also remembered for his patronage to philanthropy and the arts, preserving his family's close relationship with the Museum of Modern Art.

  • Leroy Wright