David Rockefeller (June 12, 1915 – March 20, 2017) was an American banker who was chairman and chief executive of Chase Manhattan Corporation. He was the oldest living member of the Rockefeller family and family patriarch from August 2004 until his death in March 2017. Rockefeller was a son of John D. Rockefeller Jr. and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and a grandson of John D. Rockefeller and Laura Spelman Rockefeller.
He was noted for his wide-ranging political connections and foreign travel, in which he met with a range of foreign leaders. His fortune was estimated at $3.3 billion at the time of his death in March 2017.
Rockefeller attended the experimental Lincoln School at 123rd Street in Harlem. In 1936, he graduated cum laude from Harvard University. He also studied economics for a year at Harvard and then a year at the London School of Economics (LSE). At LSE he first met future President John F. Kennedy (although he had earlier been his contemporary at Harvard) and once dated Kennedy’s sister Kathleen. During his time abroad, Rockefeller briefly worked in the London branch of what was to become the Chase Manhattan Bank.
After returning to the U.S. to complete his graduate studies, in 1940 he received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. After completing his studies in Chicago, he became secretary to New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia for eighteen months in a “dollar a year” public service position. Although the mayor pointed out to the press that Rockefeller was only one of 60 interns in the city government, his working space was, in fact, the vacant office of the deputy mayor. From 1941 to 1942, Rockefeller was assistant regional director of the United States Office of Defense, Health and Welfare Services. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and entered Officer Candidate School in 1943; he was ultimately promoted to Captain in 1945. During World War II he served in North Africa and France (he spoke fluent French) for military intelligence setting up political and economic intelligence units. For seven months he also served as an assistant military attaché at the American Embassy in Paris. During this period, he would call on family contacts and Standard Oil executives for assistance.