David Rockefeller, the world’s oldest billionaire, is dead at 101
His family inspired conspiracy theories and allegations of corruption. Born into his immense wealth, he enjoyed a life of privilege and advantage that few can even imagine. This can leave people envious – and suspicious.
The name Rockefeller conjures up extremes for many people. The name has been notoriously linked to conspiracy theories for around a century. Conspiracy theories that embellish a reality that is already notorious, to begin with.
Scandalous Rockefeller Roots
The original patriarch of the Rockefeller dynasty was a bigamist and a con man. During the late 19th century Rockefeller’s great grandfather was a snake-oil salesman. William Avery Rockefeller also cheated on his wife and had children out of wedlock.
The original matriarch, Eliza Davison, was a strictly religious woman. This dynasty was clearly formulated from the chemistry between conmanship and religious fanaticism. A self-righteousness that justifies a superiority complex with no qualms about monopolizing wealth.
It was William and Eliza’s son John D. Rockefeller that became the richest American of all time. He had his father’s lust for money at all costs and the mask of a respectable persona instilled by his mother. He quickly rose as ruthless oil magnate. He had a snake-oil that actually did what it said on the bottle.
The now dead David Rockefeller was the product of generations with this mentality. He only knew that his family was at the top of the food chain. And his future was comfortably mapped out to never know true suffering.
Power, Control, and Exploitation
Rockefeller rode at the helm of big banks and big money. The final recording of his net worth last November was $3.1 billion. Chase Bank had always worn the moniker “David’s Bank“. He was intimidating and formidable in his role.
However, Chase Bank is forever associated with murky controversy. Rockefeller joined the bank in 1946 when behind the scenes it was frolicking with nazis. Declassified documents from the FBI in 2004 revealed this horrifying connection.
Chase Bank gave special privileges to Nazi sympathizers. They enabled them to purchase German Marks at a discounted rate. The bank continued to work with the Nazi government throughout the war. This was despite a government executive order to freeze German assets.
During the Nazi occupation, Chase banks remained open in Germany. They participated in inflating their coffers with the assets and wealth of Jews. The modern Chase bank refuses to associate itself with this history. But it happened, and will never be erased.
Government Privilege, and Influence
Throughout Rockefeller’s career, he stretched his tentacles into government and exerted his influence. He used his privileged position to leverage his control over decision making. He was very active within the United Nations.
He created many policy groups to exert power over domestic and international affairs. His extreme involvement in these areas has inspired the most fervent conspiracy theorists. Many Presidents, such as Clinton, Ford, and Bush, have taken flack for consulting with him.
Philanthropy or Self-aggrandizement?
Many try to claim that Rockefeller balanced his privileged indulgence with philanthropy. However, the institutions to whom he limited his giving, even if indirectly, were associated with the family.
His passion was art, so in 2005 he funneled $100 million into the Museum of Modern Art, a family institution. Another $100 million was “donated” to his family’s educational facility, the Rockefeller University.
Now he is dead, $225 million will find itself in the hands of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. This is the largest donation it has ever received in its entire history. Allegedly it will then go towards fighting poverty and improving health care.
The Surviving Dynasty
Rockefeller is survived by his six children. His wife, Margaret “Peggy” McGrath passed away in 1996.
David Rockefeller Jr is 75 years old now and has primarily been a sailor. He has interests in the environment and non-profits. Abigail Aldrich “Abby” Rockefeller is now 74 years old. She has spent her life as a vocal active feminist, and ecologist.
Neva Goodwin Rockefeller is now aged 72. She has had a career that has combined economics theory and ecology. Margaret Dulany “Peggy” Rockefeller is very much involved with the UN, as was her father. She shares her father’s love of the arts.
Richard Gilder Rockefeller tragically died in a plane crash when he was 65 years old. As well as being a pilot, he was a physician. The youngest daughter, Eileen Rockefeller Growald, is now 65. She describes herself as a venture philanthropist.
Now that their patriarch is dead, we wonder what will be the future influence that the Rockefeller dynasty exerts over the world. Let’s hope they use their privilege wisely.