David Rockefeller, who has died aged 101, was a billionaire philanthropist in the tradition of his grandfather, John D Rockefeller, and one of America’s best known bankers as the long-serving chairman of Chase Manhattan.
David Rockefeller was a prince of the aristocracy of American money. His grandfather was the pious but ruthless creator of Standard Oil, the company which exploited near-monopoly control of America’s nascent oil industry until it was broken up in 1911 by Theodore Roosevelt’s “trustbusters”. By then it had made John D Rockefeller the richest man in the world, and provided an extraordinarily gilded and well-connected inheritance for his descendants.
The dynastic patriarch also bequeathed a high sense of public duty. Although David never held public office – turning down two invitations to become Secretary of the Treasury in Richard Nixon’s administration, and one to succeed...
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