Statement from Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation, on the Passing of David Rockefeller, Senior.
March 20, 2017
Today the world has lost a great man and philanthropist, and we, a dear friend and inspiration.
Born just two years after his grandfather John D. Rockefeller founded The Rockefeller Foundation, David Rockefeller has been a constant in the Foundation’s evolution over the last century. While he never assumed a formal role at the Foundation, he shared its unchanging devotion to advancing human flourishing around the world. He passed that commitment on to his oldest son, David Jr., who served steadfastly on our board of trustees and as Board Chair until 2016.
Whether serving at the helm of institutions such as the Chase Manhattan Bank and the Council on Foreign Relations, or helping to found others, such as the Trilateral Commission and the Council of the Americas, David was one of the world’s foremost advocates for the power of partnership and collaboration. Long before it became popular wisdom, he believed effective partnerships across sectors and geographies was the only way to affect lasting change. 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.
His absence will be felt profoundly by us all and our hearts are with former Rockefeller Foundation trustees Peggy Dulany and David Jr. and the rest of the Rockefeller family at this time. David’s values of service, humility and integrity will continue to inspire us.