David Rockefeller, philanthropist and banker - obituary

Billionaire banker David Rockefeller dies aged 101

Billionaire philanthropist David Rockefeller has died at the age of 101.

Rockefeller, who reportedly gave away almost $2 billion in his lifetime, died in his sleep of congestive heart failure at his home in Pocantico Hills, New York, spokesman Fraser Seitel said in a statement.

Rockefeller became embroiled in an worldwide incident when in 1979 he and long-time friend Henry Kissinger helped persuade President Jimmy Carter to admit the shah of Iran to the United States for treatment of lymphoma, helping precipitate the Iran hostage crisis. "All of us who work to make change by bringing together leaders from the worlds of business, government, philanthropy and beyond owe David an enormous debt of gratitude - we're all walking across bridges that he helped build".

But he was also born into great wealth as a grandson of John D. Rockefeller, who was the founder of the Standard Oil empire and America's first billionaire. He was named Chase Manhattan's president in 1961 and chairman and chief executive officer eight years later. He relinquished the chairmanship in 1981, when he retired. He served in the army during the second world war, then began climbing the ranks at Chase Bank, which merged with the Manhattan Company in 1955.

He was also behind the project that led to the World Trade Center in New York City. "We will miss him sorely, and we share our condolences with his family and friends". Over the course of his lifetime, the former chairman and chief executive of the Chase Manhattan Corp. gave away almost $2 billion, according to Reuters.

He was a longtime member of the Council on Foreign Relations, serving as chairman from 1970 to 1985.