Sleepy Hollow, NY
Bachelor of Arts / Science, Harvard University; Doctorate, University of Chicago
David Rockefeller Sr. is the eldest and richest member of the legendary oil family, which changed America in the Gilded Age and minted America's first billionaire in Standard Oil founder John D. Rockefeller. David is the magnate's only living grandchild and also the world's oldest billionaire, turning 100 in June of 2015. Tragedy struck a day after his birthday in 2014 when his son Richard died in a single-engine plane crash in rainy, foggy weather over New York. David inherited a fortune, but he built a career in finance and expanded his wealth. He joined Chase National Bank, long connected with his family, in 1946, and went on to become CEO and chairman until he retired in 1981. His father, John D. Rockefeller Jr., developed Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan and focused on philanthropy. David followed in his father's footsteps after retirement, donating hundreds of millions, including a $100 million pledge in 2005 to the Museum of Modern Art, which his mother was instrumental in founding. He pledged another $100 million to both Rockefeller University, a New York research institution founded by his grandfather, and Harvard University, his alma mater. In November of 2014, he pledged $75 million, as did the foundation of late friend Stavros Niarchos, to expand Rockefeller University. An amateur coleopterologist, he has a collection of 160,000 beetles. His art collection includes a "Water Lilies" painting by Claude Monet.