David Rockefeller – The Banker and Philanthropist

On this day, June 12 in the year 1915, the man considered as the oldest billionaire at age 101 was born in New York, USA. His name is David Rockefeller who served either as chairman, CEO or president of Chase Manhattan Corporation from 1960 to 1981.

David Rockefeller
David Rockefeller (Credit: forbes.com)

David was the youngest child of John Davidson Rockefeller Jr. and the grandson of America’s richest person in history and also its first billionaire, John D. Rockefeller, Sr. He graduated from Harvard University in 1936 and also studied economics from the London School of Economics. In 1940, he received his Ph. D. in Economics from the University of Chicago.

At the onset of World War II, David Rockefeller was hired as the secretary of the mayor of New York City and later transferred to the Office of Defense, Health and Welfare as regional director. In 1943, he was enlisted in the US military, serving as intelligence officer in North Africa and Europe.
After the war, David went to work at the family-controlled Chase National Bank (now, JP Morgan Chase) in various capacities. In 1960, he became president and in 1969, he was appointed CEO. Under his management, Chase became one of the biggest banks in the US with operations in many countries.

Being the boss of a global financial institution and the chairman of the Council of Foreign Relations for 15 years, David travelled to 103 countries and meeting dozens of presidents and heads of state including dictators like Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein.

David is credited by Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, as the person who did the most for the good of the city. In 2017, he passed away due to congestive heart failure. He left two sons and four daughters with his wife Margaret “Peggy” McGrath.


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