David Rockefeller: World’s Oldest Billionaire Dies To Heart Disease At 101


On Monday,  March 19, David Rockefeller, commercial banker, businessman and philanthropist was reported dead. He died of a congestive heart failure at the age of 101 years.

David Rockefeller is the grandchild of John D. Rockefeller who is one of the richest men of all times. The Rockefeller family is a prominent American billionaire family.

David was the youngest of six children and was the last surviving member of the family. He died in his sleep at his family’s estate in Pocantico Hills, New York.

At the time of his death, Forbes says Rockefeller was worth an estimated $3.3 billion, making him the 604th richest person in the world. He was the CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank and chairman of the board of the Rockefeller Group.

David was born in 1915. He attended Harvard College and later proceeded to the University of Chicago, where he obtained a Ph.D. in Economics.

See Also: 20 Richest People Of All Times

During World War II, he was part of the army that served in North Africa and Southwestern France. In 1945, he was awarded the Legion of Honor with the rank of Chevalier by the French government.

He had close relations with several past American presidents. At the news of his death a couple of them gave their condolence to the family. He was an astute business man who has over time played advisory roles to the American presidency.

International business leaders and dignitaries have sent in their tributes as well.

David was prominent largely for is business prowess. In the same way he was an important figure in the field of education, politics and art.

Brian Farrell, director of the David Rockefeller Center had this to say,

“This is a deeply sad time for us all, as David touched our lives in so many unique ways,”

“He was a tireless advocate for higher education and particularly for international experiences, with a boundless intellectual curiosity in everything from beetles, our shared passion, to art and world cultures.”

Just like his grandfather John, David was known for his boundless philanthropy.

His grandfather took the family to immeasurable affluence. John D. Rockefeller was the first American billionaire and co-founder of the Standard Oil which blazed the trail for oil companies like ExxonMobil and Chevron.

See Also: 20 Most Powerful People in African Business

As an avid art lover and collector, David Rockefeller donated more than $150 million to Manhattan’s Museum of Modern Art. In 2008, he pledged $100 million to increase learning opportunities and for the renovation of Harvard Art Museums.

It is said that the Museum of Modern Art, Rockefeller University and Harvard will receive the sum of $100 million each, upon his death.

Billionaire and former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg said this,

“No individual has contributed more to the commercial and civic life of New York City over a longer period of time than David Rockefeller,”

“I have long admired his commitment to the city, which began with a dollar-a-year job working as a secretary to Mayor Fiorello La Guardia. During my time in City Hall, he was always there for the city when we called.”

Rockefeller is survived by five children, ten grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.