Margaret Rockefeller Strong

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Margaret Rockefeller Strong (June 11, 1897 - December 5, 1985) was an American heiress and prominent member of the Rockefeller family. She was the maternal granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller and his wife Laura Spelman Rockefeller.

Early life and education[edit]

She was the daughter of Elizabeth "Bessie" Rockefeller (1866–1906) and Dr. Charles Augustus Strong (1862–1940).[1] Her maternal grandfather was Standard Oil co-founder John D. Rockefeller (1839–1937).


Margaret saved a row of Neo-Federal townhouses on Park Avenue designed by McKim, Mead & White from destruction by purchasing the property and giving one of the townhouses to the Queen Sofía Spanish Institute in 1965. She then donated the corner townhouse to her cousin, David Rockefeller, who there founded the Center for Inter-American Relations, now the Americas Society. In December 1979, Margaret donated her father's estate, Villa Le Balze in Fiesole, Tuscany, Italy to Georgetown University which operates an overseas campus there.[2]

Her life can be read at "El Inútil de la Familia", a book written by Jorge Edwards, a Chilean writer.

Personal life[edit]

She married Chilean ballet businessman George de Cuevas on August 3, 1927. They had two children;

  • Elizabeth de Cuevas (1929-2023)[3] who married Joel Carmichael, a writer, in 1960. They had one daughter; Deborah Carmichael.[4]
  • John de Cuevas (October 6, 1930 - December 6, 2018), an educator and philanthropist, who married three times. His first marriage to his boyhood sweetheart Phyllis Nahl Van Wyck was in 1951. He remarried in April 1962 to Silvia Maria Bartucci having one daughter; Margaret de Cuevas and two granddaughters. In 1988, he married a third time to Sue Lonoff.[5]

After her first husband, George de Cuevas, died in 1961, she married Raymundo de Larraín Valdés (1935–1988) in 1977. There was a fight about her estate which ended in a court settlement in 1987.[6][7]


  1. ^ George Santayana; William G. Holzberger (2008). The Letters of George Santayana, Book Eight, 1948–1952. MIT Press. pp. 162–. ISBN 978-0-262-19571-3.
  2. ^ Villa Le Balze, Georgetown University in Fiesole Italy Archived April 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Williams, Alex (April 6, 2023). "Elizabeth de Cuevas, Sculptor With a Flair for the Monumental, Dies at 94". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 26, 2023.
  4. ^ Carmichael, Isabel. "Elizabeth de Cuevas, Sculptor | The East Hampton Star". Retrieved April 26, 2023.
  5. ^ "John de Cuevas, 88, Educator, Philanthropist | The East Hampton Star". Retrieved April 26, 2023.
  6. ^ Johnson, Kirk (September 25, 1987). "Fight Settled On the Estate Of an Heiress". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 26, 2023.
  7. ^ "Rockefeller Heiress' Estate Divided". AP NEWS. Retrieved April 26, 2023.