- John D. Rockefeller III
John Davison Rockefeller III (
March 21, 1906– July 10, 1978) was a major philanthropistand third-generation member of the prominent Rockefeller family. He was the eldest son of John D. Rockefeller, Jr.(Junior) and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and the grandson of John D. Rockefeller(Senior). His siblings were Abby, Nelson, Laurance, Winthrop, and David.
Rockefeller was predestined to manage the family endeavours as the eldest scion of his five sibling generation. However, for many years before the
World War II, Rockefeller was engaged in a semiofficial manner, within the Institute of Pacific Relations, managing the US policies over the entire Far East, including both Chinaand Japan. The region would become quite difficult for decades and, indeed, Rockefeller dealt with such events. Simultaneously, Rockefeller managed most family enterprises in America, amongst which the philanthropic ones were. After the War, Rockefeller influenced the Japan development advising its highest leaders. Besides, he promoted the Oriental culture in America through a series of important cultural programs, until his death.
He received his preparatory education at the
Browning Schoolin New York City and the Loomis Institute, Windsor, Connecticut, in 1925. He went to Princeton Universitywhere he received high honors in economics and graduated in 1929 with the degree of Bachelor of Science, choosing industrial relations as the subject of his senior thesis. Commencing a lifelong commitment to international relations, he undertook a world tour after graduating from college, which concluded with assignments for the Institute of Pacific Relationsconference in Japan. [ Time Magazinereport on JDRIII's early participation, in the Institute of Pacific Relations. (1929). [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,737976,00.html?iid=chix-digg] ]
John D. III would be the next Rockefeller manager for all family undertakings of social relevance. Since 1929, in total he sat on twenty boards of various institutions, most of which were family-related. The more notable of these were:
Rockefeller University- then the "Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research" (Established by Senior);
Colonial Williamsburg(Junior, Abby);
International House of New York(Junior);
*"General Education Board" - later the "International Education Board" (Senior);
China Medical Board" (Senior, Junior);
*"Bureau of Social Hygiene" (Junior);
*"Industrial Relations Counselors" (Junior).
In addition, he was at one time a member of the
Council on Foreign Relations, the Foreign Policy Associationand the Institute of Pacific Relations, as well as being on the board of directors of Princeton University. In late 1950, he accompanied secretary of state John Foster Dulleson his trip to Japan to conclude a peace treaty, during which time he consulted with many Japanese leaders in practically every important sphere of that country's life. [Accompanied Dulles on peace treaty mission to Japan - see John Ensor Harr and Peter J. Johnson, "The Rockefeller Century: Three Generations of America's Greatest Family", New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1988 (pp.502-510)]
He was a prominent third-generation family philanthropist in his own right and founder of the
Asia Society, the major institution he established in 1956 to foster greater cooperation between Asia and the United States. He also founded the Population Councilin 1952, and a reconstituted Japan Society. In addition, he set up the "United Negro College Fund" for the ongoing education of African Americans, carrying on the family tradition in this area with his grandfather's funding of the education of black women at Spelman Collegein Atlanta.
He was on his father's Advisory Committee in the family office, Room 5600. He was also president of the family's principal philanthropy run by family members, the
Rockefeller Brothers Fund, from its inception in 1940 to 1956. In 1929, he joined the family's renowned Rockefeller Foundation; elected to the board in 1931 he subsequently became chairman of this major philanthropic organization for twenty years and was responsible for changing the focus of the institution.
The principal philanthropic institution he created was the "JDR 3rd Fund" in 1963, its major program being the "Asian Cultural Program", created in 1967 to encourage East-West cultural exchange. The Fund was wound-up upon his death in 1979, but the Cultural Program continued as the "Asian Cultural Council", which has provided grant assistance to more than 4,000 Asians and Americans in the area of the arts. Funding for its programs is derived from a combination of endowment income and contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations in the United States and Asia.
In the mid 1950s, JDR III assumed the leadership of a committee of civic leaders who were working to create
Lincoln Center. He became the key figure in the fund-raising efforts and in forging a consensus among the civic leaders and others who were essential to its success. The Center itself was built over a period from 1959 to 1966. He was its first president, commencing in 1956, and he became its chairman in 1961. He served as chairman until 1970 when he was duly elected honorary chairman. [ [http://archive.rockefeller.edu/bio/jdr3.php Rockefeller Archive Center Biography] ]
In the late 1960s, Rockefeller was responsible for the creation of the Commission on Foundations and Private Philanthropy (usually known as the Peterson Commission, headed by
Peter G. Peterson) and the Commission on Private Philanthropy and Public Needs (usually known as the Filer Commission). He established the "Rockefeller Public Service Awards" in 1958. In 1959, he received The Hundred Year Association of New York's Gold Medal Award "in recognition of outstanding contributions to the City of New York." Rockefeller Collegeat Princeton University was named in his honor in 1982.
He died in an automobile accident in
Mount Pleasant, New York, near the Rockefeller family estate of "Pocantico", on July 10, 1978.
November 11, 1932he married the socially connected Blanchette Ferry Hooker, who was to serve as chairman of the "Asian Cultural Council" from 1980 to 1990, and who established the "Blanchette H. Rockefeller Fellowship Fund", in Japan. They had one son and three daughters:
*Harr, John Ensor, and Peter J. Johnson. "The Rockefeller Century: Three Generations of America's Greatest Family". New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1988. ISBN 0-684-18936-4.
*Harr, John Ensor, and Peter J. Johnson. "The Rockefeller Conscience: An American Family in Public and in Private". New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1991. ISBN 0-684-19364-7.
*Rockefeller, David. "Memoirs". New York: Random House, 2002. ISBN 0-679-40588-7.
*Young, Edgar B. "Lincoln Center: The Building of an Institution". New York: New York University Press, 1980.
Rockefeller Brothers Fund
The Asia Society
* [http://archive.rockefeller.edu/bio/jdr3.php Rockefeller Archive Center: Selected Biography]
* [http://www.rockefeller.edu/archive.ctr/jdr3rd2.html List of his published papers] .
* [http://www.rbf.org/ Rockefeller Brothers Fund website]
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