In Memoriam: David Rockefeller

It is with great sadness that we share the news of David Rockefeller’s passing on Monday, March 20 at the age of 101.  Mr. Rockefeller was one of the world’s most distinguished business statesmen as well as a leading philanthropist. His wide-ranging interests and involvement made profound and lasting contributions to fields as diverse as economics and finance, international relations, civic affairs, arts and culture, and education.

Building on the legacy of his late brother John D. Rockefeller 3rd, who laid the foundation for the postwar Japan Society, David Rockefeller served Japan Society in many critical roles, including Honorary Chairman of the Board (1978-1986), Chairman of the 75th Anniversary Committee (1980-1982), Annual Dinner Chair, a speaker in the Distinguished Lecturer Series, and Co-Chair, along with Dr. Shoichiro Toyoda, of the Centennial Honorary Committee (2007).

We extend our deep condolences to the Rockefeller family and staff, in particular son David Rockefeller, Jr., nephew Sen. John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, and Japan Society Board Member Justin A. Rockefeller.

Dear Johnny,

It occurs to me that it has been some time since I have formally expressed my admiration for the continuing work of the Japan Society.  Certainly, the Society’s efforts over the years have been mutually beneficial to both Japan and the United States, and have helped to bring about greater friendship and understanding between the peoples of the two countries.

—Excerpt from a letter from David Rockefeller to his brother and Japan Society Chairman, John D. Rockefeller 3rd, dated December 26, 1975.

Images, top to bottom, left to right: Akio Morita, Co-Founder of Sony Corporation and David Rockefeller at the 1981 Japan Society Annual Dinner. Photo © William Irwin; David Rockefeller, Dr. Shoichiro Toyoda, Honorary Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation, President William J. Clinton, and Mrs. Toyoda at the Japan Society’s Centennial Gala Dinner in May 2007. Photo © Satoru Ishikawa; David Rockefeller presides at a Japan Society lecture in September 1985 on U.S.-Japan Relations by His Excellency Shintaro Abe, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Photo © William Irwin; Portrait of David Rockefeller, c. 2007; David Rockefeller and Paul A. Volker (at that time Chairman, The Rockefeller Group and Chairman, James D. Wolfensohn Inc., respectively) speak on "Free Trade: Challenges & Opportunities" at a Distinguished Lecturer Series program in May 1993. Photo © William Irwin; Three generations of Rockefellers receive the Japan Society Award at the 90th Anniversary Annual Dinner in 1997. Left to right: Charles P. Rockefeller, Senator John D. Rockefeller IV and David Rockefeller. Photo © Ken Levinson

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