Billionaire banker, philanthropist David Rockefeller dies at 101

Mar 21, 2017, 00:35

Rockefeller died of congestive heart failure on Monday in his home in Pocantico Hills, New York, according to the family's spokesman.

The businessman retired as head of Chase Manhattan in 1981 after a 35-year career.

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

But he was also born into great wealth as a grandson of John D. Rockefeller, who was the founder of the Standard Oil empire and America's first billionaire. He served in the army during the second world war, then began climbing the ranks at Chase Bank, which merged with the Manhattan Company in 1955.

The renowned capitalist supported the assistance of economies overseas, arguing that it would create customers for American products.

Rockefeller also had strong influence inside the United States and around the world.

Under his leadership, Chase was the first U.S. bank to open offices in the Soviet Union and China. His private art collection was once valued at $500m.

"David Rockefeller led an extraordinary life - making an indelible, positive mark on our world as a leader in philanthropy, the arts, business and global affairs", JPMorgan Chase CEO and Chairman Jamie Dimon said in a statement.

One of the major efforts of his later years was directed at restoring family influence in the Rockefeller Center in NY, most of which was sold in the 1980s to Japanese investors.

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

In May 2015, he made a rare public appearance in ME to mark his approaching 100th birthday by donating 1,000 acres (405 hectares) for preservation on exclusive Mount Desert Island.

He had six children - David Jr, Richard, Abby, Neva, Margaret and Eileen - with his wife Margaret (nee McGrath).