David Rockefeller Jr.

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David Rockefeller Jr.
Born July 24, 1941 (1941-07-24) (age 80)
Education Phillips Exeter Academy
Alma mater Harvard College
Harvard Law School
Spouse Diana Newell-Rowan
Susan Cohn (m. Template:Get year)
Children Ariana Rockefeller
Camilla Rockefeller
Parents David Rockefeller
Margaret "Peggy" McGrath
Relatives See Rockefeller family

David Rockefeller Jr. (born July 24, 1941) is an American sailor, philanthropist, and an active participant in nonprofit and environmental areas. He is the eldest son of David Rockefeller and Margaret "Peggy" McGrath. David Jr is a leading fourth-generation member (known as "the Cousins") of the Rockefeller family,[1] serving on many boards of the family's institutions. His siblings are: Abby, Richard, Peggy, Neva, and Eileen. Following his father's death on March 20, 2017, he became family patriarch.

Early life

David Rockefeller Jr. was born on July 24, 1941 to David Rockefeller and Margaret "Peggy" McGrath. His siblings are: Abby, Richard (1949 - 2014), Peggy, Neva, and Eileen.[2]

He attended the Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire and graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He settled in the Boston area and pursued his interests in music and arts education.


He worked for the Boston Symphony Orchestra for a number of years and served on the boards of the National Endowment for the Arts and National Public Radio.

In the late 1960s he helped finance an anti-establishment Boston weekly, The Real Paper, along with Mortimer Zuckerman—who was later to become a successful real estate developer and whose subsequent business partner in his real estate investment trust would be David Jr.'s own father.[3]


He established the Citizens Participation Project in 1983, in an effort to reach the country's 80 million nonvoters that existed at that time.

Also in 1983, he headed a planning committee to draft a new strategy for the family's main philanthropic vehicle, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, set up in 1940. Their report recommended a one world perspective, focusing on issues of resources and global security, including arms control, international relations, economic development, trade and finance. Because of this effort, and close administrative involvement with the family office, Room 5600, it has been said he will take over leadership of the family upon his father's death.

In 2001, he joined William H. Gates Sr. and George Soros, along with 120 other millionaires and billionaires—and with the moral support of Warren Buffett—in signing a petition to urge the United States Congress not to repeal the estate and gift tax imposed on the families of the rich, in order to restore the meritocratic American system.[4] In 1991, he was elected by his cousins to succeed his father as Chairman of Rockefeller Financial Services, which is the $3 billion (in assets) holding company that manages the family investments, shareholdings and real estate in Room 5600, located in the GE Building in Rockefeller Center.

He founded Sailors for the Sea, combining his love of sailing and awareness of marine conservation issues. SfS is a nonprofit organization that educates the boating community about ocean health.

He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, with which his father has had a longstanding association and is currently honorary chairman. He is also, along with his father, a member of the San Francisco-based Bohemian Club and the Stowaway Camp in the Bohemian Grove.

In October 2006, the Rockefeller Foundation announced the appointment of David Jr. to its board of trustees, thus becoming the sixth member of the family to have served on the board since its founding by John D. Rockefeller in 1913 (see External Links).

Personal life

David is a keen sailor. He was married to, and divorced from Diana Newell-Rowan and has two daughters: Ariana (1982) and Camilla (1984). In May 2008, he married 49-year-old Susan Cohn.[5]

Positions held

  • President of Sailors for the Sea Board of Directors
  • Vice Chair Emeritus of the National Park Foundation;
  • A member of the Pew Oceans Commission;
  • A former national Vice Chair of the Alaska Conservation Foundation;
  • A founder of the Alaska Fund for the Future;
  • A former Trustee of The Boston Foundation;
  • Trustee of the Asian Cultural Council;
  • A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  • Former chairman and current trustee of Recruiting New Teachers;
  • Former chair of the North American Nominating Committee for the Praemium Imperiale;

Rockefeller family companies and institutions:

See also


Further links

University of Missouri - St Louis; Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center. Brief biography.

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