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Billionaire banker, philanthropist David Rockefeller dies at 101


American banker, philanthropist and Rockefeller family patriarch David Rockefeller has died. He was 101.

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A family spokesman confirmed the death in a statement obtained by Bloomberg News. He died of congestive heart failure in his sleep at his home in Pocantico Hills, New York, spokesman Fraser P. Seitel said.

Rockefeller was a celebrated philanthropist who earned a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998. Over the course of his lifetime, the former chairman and chief executive of the Chase Manhattan Corp. gave away nearly $2 billion, according to Reuters. To mark his 100th birthday in 2015, Rockefeller gave 1,000 acres of land to the state of Maine, The Associated Press reported.

He was the grandson of oil magnate John D. Rockefeller, one of the founders of the Standard Oil Co., and the son of John D. Rockefeller Jr., developer of New York’s famed Rockefeller Center.

He was also the guardian of his family's fortune and head of a sprawling network of family interests, both business and philanthropic, that ranged from environmental conservation to the arts.

Rockefeller was named president of Chase Manhattan in 1961. He was named chairman and CEO of the bank in 1969.

He retired in 1981 at age 65.

In his role of business statesman, Rockefeller preached capitalism at home and favored assisting economies abroad on grounds that bringing prosperity to the Third World would create customers for American products.

Rockefeller and his wife, the former Margaret McGrath, were married in 1940 and had six children - David Jr., Richard, Abby, Neva, Margaret and Eileen. His wife, an active conservationist, died in 1996.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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