Published: Tue, March 21, 2017
Money | By Oscar Reynolds

Billionaire banker, philanthropist David Rockefeller dies at 101

Billionaire banker, philanthropist David Rockefeller dies at 101

USA banker and philanthropist David Rockefeller has died at the age of 101 on Monday, his family said.

Rockefeller's spokesman, Fraser P. Seitel, said he died peacefully in his sleep on the morning of 20 March 2017 at his home in Pocantico Hills, New York.

Rockefeller joined The Chase National Bank in 1946, became a vice president in 1949 and senior vice president in 1952. He persistently lauded the benefits of capitalism.

"Some even believe [the Rockefellers] are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as "internationalists" conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure - one world, if you will". The bank later transformed into JPMorgan Chase & Co.

David Rockefeller graduated from Harvard in 1936 and received a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago in 1940. "The problem is to see that the system is run as efficiently and as honestly as it can be".

Rockefeller retired in 1980 as CEO and chairman Chase Manhattan after almost nearly 35 years at the bank.

In his role of business statesman, Rockefeller preached capitalism at home and favored assisting economies overseas on grounds that bringing prosperity to the Third World would create customers for American products.

At times Rockefeller caused controversy, not least by pushing for trade talks with China and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. He retired in 1981 at 65. His private art collection was once valued at $500m.

Rockefeller established several global and philanthropic associations: the Americas Society, the weighty Trilateral Commission to promote cooperation between North America, Europe and Japan, and the New York City Partnership to help the city's poor.

Many members of his family were drawn more to politics than to business.

Rockefeller was a celebrated philanthropist who earned a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998.

Rockefeller's wife, Peggy, died in 1996.

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