The Rockefeller Archive Center
“If we assist the highest forms of education – in whatever field – we secure the widest influence in enlarging the boundaries of human knowledge.”
—John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

David Rockefeller, 1915-2017


David Rockefeller was an accomplished businessman, philanthropist, patron of the arts, and unofficial diplomat. He was a grandson of John D. Rockefeller, the founder of the Standard Oil Company, and the youngest child of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. His 35-year career with Chase Manhattan Bank culminated with his 12-year term as board chair and chief executive officer of the bank. He also served on the boards of Rockefeller University, the University of Chicago, Harvard University, the Museum of Modern Art, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Americas Society.

Read a detailed biographical sketch

The Rockefeller Archive Center has opened portions of David Rockefeller's papers and the records of some of the organizations he helped to create. The first section of his personal papers, described as Record Group 2, Office of the Messrs. Rockefeller, became available for research in early 2015. These files originated in the family office at Rockefeller Center and document the early years of Mr. Rockefeller's life and career, particularly the period immediately following World War II.

Additionally, the records related to three organizations that David Rockefeller established are also open to research: the Downtown Lower Manhattan Association, Morningside Heights, Inc., and the Trilateral Commission of North America.

In 2016, the papers of Warren Lindquist became available for research. Mr. Lindquist worked as an associate to David Rockefeller for 26 years, focusing on his real estate investments and efforts to improve urban housing opportunities.

The David Rockefeller photograph collection comprises approximately 10 boxes of prints and 4 oversized boxes of images. While these materials are open for scholarly research, permission is required to publish or otherwise use photos of living members of the Rockefeller family.

However, the images below may be used without written permission, but please credit the Rockefeller Archive Center. Contact us for additional photo selections or topics and for details on requesting permission to publish.

1) Two-year-old David Rockefeller helps with his family's victory garden, a way for citizens to contribute to the war effort as the United States entered World War I in 1917

2) John D. Rockefeller's thank-you note for a Christmas present from his youngest grandson, four-year-old David.

3) David outside the Rockefeller home in Seal Harbor, Maine, in the mid-1920s with his mother, Abby, who imparted to him her life-long love of art.

4) John D. Rockefeller, Jr., funds historic restoration of many war-torn sites in France and attends special ceremonies at the Palace of Versailles with son David in 1936.

5) New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia hires David Rockefeller as secretary in 1940, his first position in public service.

6) David Rockefeller serves with the U.S. Army in North Africa and France during World War II.

7) A career in banking begins for David Rockefeller when he joins Chase Manhattan Bank's Foreign Department in 1946.

8) A White House Rose Garden press conference launches the International Executive Service Corps in 1964, founded by David Rockefeller (holding an IESC press kit).

9) President Gerald Ford talks with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and David Rockefeller in 1975.

10) Peggy and David Rockefeller attend the 1987 Founders Ball at Rockefeller University, which his grandfather founded in 1901.

11) President George Bush greets David Rockefeller at a conference of the Council on the Americas held in Washington, DC, in 1989.

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