The Top 100 Greatest New Yorkers — #51
David Rockefeller (b. 1915)
In the Big Apple, the family name of Rockefeller is most immediately and traditionally associated with its namesake Center that comprises 16 art deco buildings in the heart of midtown. David Rockefeller, the 101-year old patriarch, still has an office there. Growing up in a 9-story townhouse (the tallest single-residence building in the city’s history) where the MoMA sculpture garden stands today, Rockefeller would continue to be associated with impressive skyscrapers throughout his life. In 1954, he spearheaded the construction of the 60-story Chase Manhattan Bank headquarters, across Liberty Street from the Federal Reserve, and thus helped to revive the stagnating downtown business district. Later, with help from his brother Nelson (then governor of New York), he chaired the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association which proposed and facilitated the construction of the World Trade Center. A longtime business leader and philanthropist, Rockefeller has won the George C. Marshall Foundation Award, the Andrew Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
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