David Rockefeller Copyright Brendan Smialowski, Getty Images
David Rockefeller

Wealth, Legacy, Charity: Endings and Beginnings

The last living grandchild of America’s first billionaire has died at age 101.

David Rockefeller, the last of his generation of Standard Oil heirs, died at 101 years old. Rockefeller, grandchild of John D. Rockefeller, lived a life that traces an evolution of philanthropy in America. His passing may also serve to mark a shift from his grandfather’s approach to charity, which has been deeply embraced by philanthropists, to new approaches, tools and legal forms.

He “leaves a legacy that eludes a simple description. The grandchild and heir to oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, and a globetrotting billionaire banker in his own right, Rockefeller also earned a reputation as a prodigious patron of the arts,” writes Colin Dwyer.

David Rockefeller is credited with giving away more than $2 billion during his lifetime. He also signed "The Giving Pledge," writing in his pledge letter that he intended to give half of his fortune away. Forbes estimated that at the time of his passing, his net worth was about $3.3 billion.

To read the rest of the article, see Nonprofit Quarterly.

TAGS: Philanthropy
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