Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

The Top 100 Greatest New Yorkers — #51

David Rockefeller (b. 1915)

51 David Rockefeller

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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1 Comment

  1. On the occasion of his 90th birthday he gave the Museum of Modern Art, co-founded by his mother, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller $100 million dollars. The entrance to the museum is now named to honor Mr. Rockefeller and his late wife, Peggy. He is also Chairman Emeritus of JP Morgan Chase.
    The Chase connection comes from his uncle Winthrop Aldrich who was CEO of what was then known as Chase National Bank. His uncle helped draft the historic banking regulatory legislation, the Glass-Steagell Act

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