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rockefeller family

David Rockefeller has died in his sleep at his home in Poncantico Hills, New York, a spokesman said.

The 101-year-old billionaire philanthropist, the last of his generation in the famed American family, was the grandson of Standard Oil co-founder John D. Rockefeller.

David Rockefeller was at the helm of his family’s fortune, controlling both philanthropic and business interests.

He was the youngest of five sons of John D. Rockefeller Jr.

Though he never sought political office, David Rockefeller had two brothers who served in government.

Nelson Rockefeller served as governor of New York and briefly as vice-president while Winthrop Rockefeller was the governor of Arkansas.

Image source Wikipedia

David Rockefeller graduated from Harvard in 1936 and received a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago in 1940.

He then served in the army World War Two before working at Chase Bank, which later became JP Morgan Chase.

David Rockefeller was named president of the company in 1961 and chairman and chief executive in 1969.

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

Under his leadership, Chase was the first US bank to open offices in the Soviet Union and China.

In 1974, it was the first to open an office in Egypt after the Suez crisis of 1956.

David Rockefeller was also behind the project that led to the World Trade Center in New York City.

He retired in 1981 at the age of 65.

Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, released a statement saying they were “deeply saddened” by the passing of their “wonderful friend”.

The statement read: “So many knew him as one of the most generous philanthropists – and brightest Points of Light – whose caring and commitment to the widest range of worthy causes touched and lifted innumerable lives.

“David was also very active in national and international affairs, and his connections and keen aptitude for issues made him a valuable advisor to Presidents of both parties – yours truly certainly included.”

The couple added that they would “surely miss” their annual visits with him in Maine.

David Rockefeller was also remembered for his patronage to philanthropy and the arts, preserving his family’s close relationship with the Museum of Modern Art.

His private art collection was once valued at $500 million.

On his 100th birthday in 2015, David Rockefeller donated 1,000 acres of land next to a national park to the state of Maine.

His charitable service earned him a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor, in 1998.

David Rockefeller had six children – David Jr., Richard, Abby, Neva, Margaret and Eileen – with his wife Margaret (nee McGrath). She died in 1996.

According to new reports, the Rockefeller family, which made its vast fortune from oil, is to sell investments in fossil fuels and reinvest in clean energy.

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund is joining a coalition of philanthropists pledging to rid themselves of more than $50 billion in fossil fuel assets.

The announcement will be made today, September 22, a day before the UN climate change summit opens.

Some 650 individuals and 180 institutions have joined the coalition.

It is part of a growing global initiative called Global Divest-Invest, which began on university campuses several years ago, the New York Times reports.

Pledges from pension funds, religious groups and big universities have reportedly doubled since the start of 2014.

Rockefeller Brothers Fund director Stephen Heintz said the move to divest from fossil fuels would be in line with oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller’s wishes.

The Rockefeller family is to sell investments in fossil fuels and reinvest in clean energy

The Rockefeller family is to sell investments in fossil fuels and reinvest in clean energy

“We are quite convinced that if he were alive today, as an astute businessman looking out to the future, he would be moving out of fossil fuels and investing in clean, renewable energy,” Stephen Heintz said in a statement.

The philanthropic organization was founded in 1940 by the sons of John D. Rockefeller. As of July 31, 2014, the fund’s investment assets were worth $860 million.

“There is a moral imperative to preserve a healthy planet,” Valerie Rockefeller Wayne, a great-great-granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller and a trustee of the fund, is quoted by the Washington Post as saying.

A climate change summit is due to start on September 23 at the UN headquarters in New York, with 125 heads of state and government members expected to attend.

It is the first such gathering since the unsuccessful climate conference in Copenhagen in 2009.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hopes leaders can make progress on a universal climate agreement to be signed by all nations at the end of 2015.

On September 21, hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets in more than 2,000 locations worldwide, demanding urgent action on climate change and calling for curbs on carbon emissions.

Business leaders, environmentalists and celebrities also joined the demonstrations, which were organized by The People’s Climate March.