Billionaire banker David Rockefeller passed away on Monday at the age of 101. The former head of Chase Manhattan Corporation died of congestive heart failure while sleeping at his family estate in the New York suburb of Pocantico Hills, family spokesman Fraser Seitel said.
Mr Rockefeller was the youngest son of John D. Rockefeller Jr., who established New York’s iconic Rockefeller Centre, and was the last living grandson of John D. Rockefeller, the oil magnate who founded Standard Oil and one of America’s most influential family dynasties.
After being named president of Chase in 1961, then CEO in 1969, the company spread internationally and grew into a central figure of global finance. Under his leadership it became the first US bank to open offices in the Soviet Union and China, and in 1974 it was the first to open an office in Egypt since the Suez crisis of 1956.
At the time of his death, Forbes estimated Rockefeller to be worth around US$3.3 billion, making him the world’s oldest billionaire. Rockefeller had also donated close to US$2 billion in his lifetime to his favoured causes, including the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan and Rockefeller University. As recognised by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, “No individual has contributed more to the commercial and civic life of New York City over a longer period than David Rockefeller.”
Rockefeller’s wife passed away in 1996. He is survived by his five children, ten grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.