David Rockefeller, the last in his generation of the famous US philanthropic family, has died aged 101.
David Rockefeller, the billionaire businessman and philanthropist who was the last in his generation of one of the country's most famously philanthropic families, has died. He was 101.
He died in his sleep on Monday at his home in suburban Pocantico Hills, New York, according to his spokesman, Fraser P. Seitel.
Rockefeller and his wife, the former Margaret McGrath, married in 1940 and had six children - David Jr., Richard, Abby, Neva, Margaret and Eileen. His wife, an active conservationist, died in 1996.
He was the youngest of six children born to John D. Rockefeller Jr. and the grandson of Standard Oil co-founder John D. Rockefeller. With the passing of his siblings, he became the guardian of his family's fortune and head of a sprawling network of family interests.
As one of the Rockefeller grandchildren, David belonged to the last generation in which the inherited family billions were concentrated in a few hands. The next generation, known as "the cousins" has more people.
Aspects of the Rockefeller brothers' upbringing became famous, including the 25-cent allowance, portions of which had to be set aside for charity and savings, and the inculcation that wealth brings great responsibility.
Rockefeller embraced business and travelled and spoke widely as a champion of enlightened capitalism.
In his role of business statesman, Rockefeller preached capitalism at home and favoured assisting economies abroad on grounds that prosperity would create customers for American products.
He parted company with some of his fellow capitalists on income taxes, calling it unseemly to earn $US1 million ($A1.3 million) and then find ways to avoid paying tax. He didn't say how much he paid in taxes and never spoke publicly about his personal worth. In 2015, Forbes magazine estimated his fortune at $US3 billion.
Rockefeller graduated from Harvard in 1936 and received a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago in 1940. He served in the Army during World War II.
He was named Chase Manhattan's president in 1961 and chairman and chief executive officer eight years later. He retired in 1981 at age 65 after a 35-year career.
His philanthropy and other activities earned him a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honour, in 1998.