Billionaire philanthropist David Rockefeller dies at age 101

Billionaire philanthropist David Rockefeller dies at age 101

USA banker and philanthropist David Rockefeller has died at the age of 101 on Monday, his family said.

David Rockefeller died at the age of 101 at his home in Pocantico Hills, New York after suffering from congestive heart failure, his publicist said in a statement.

Rockefeller was the last surviving grandson of John D. Rockefeller who founded the Standard Oil Company in the 19th century and built a fortune that made him America's first billionaire, the statement added. Rockefeller is said to have donated nearly $2 billion over his lifetime to various institutions including Rockefeller University, Harvard University and art museums.

Rockefeller favored assisting economies overseas on grounds that bringing prosperity would create customers for American products.

David was the only one out of John D. Rockefeller Jr.

Since 2004, he was family patriarch and the oldest living member of the Rockefeller family.

At times Rockefeller caused controversy, not least by pushing for trade talks with China and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Two held elected office: Nelson Rockefeller as governor of NY and, briefly, U.S. vice-president; Winthrop Rockefeller as governor of Arkansas.

In his early travels to South Africa, Rockefeller arranged clandestine meetings with several underground black leaders.

Rockefeller maintained the family's patronage of the arts, including its longstanding relationship with the Museum of Modern Art in NY.

Unlike his brothers Nelson, the governor of NY who hungered for the White House and was briefly vice president, and Winthrop, a governor of Arkansas, David Rockefeller wielded power and influence without ever seeking public office. His private art collection was once valued at $500 million. He organized an investor group to buy back 45% of the property.

Rockefeller married Margaret McGrath from 1940 until her death in 1996 and the couple had six children.

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