He was always giving. To mark his 100th birthday in June 2015, Rockefeller gave 1,000 acres of land next to a national park to the state of Maine. “American capitalism has brought more benefits to more people than any other system in any part of the world at any time in history. The problem is to see that the system is run as efficiently and as honestly as it can be, he said. Rockefeller graduated from Harvard in 1936 and received a doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago in 1940. He served in the Army during World War II, then began climbing the ranks of management at Chase Bank. That bank merged with The Manhattan Company in 1955. He was named Chase Manhattan’s president in 1961 and chairman and chief executive officer eight years later. He retired in 1981 at age 65 after a 35-year career.
In 2015, Forbes magazine estimated his fortune at $3 billion. Rockefeller maintained the family’s patronage of the arts, including its long-standing relationship with New York’s Museum of Modern Art. His philanthropy and other activities earned him a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 1998.