Rockefeller, Nelson Aldrich, 1908-1979

Rockefeller, Nelson Aldrich, 1908-1979



  • Existence: 1908 - 1979


Nelson Rockefeller was born on July 8, 1908 in Bar Harbor, Maine. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1930 after which he worked in a number of family-related businesses, including Chase National Bank and Rockefeller Center, Inc. He held various positions in the latter, joining the board of directors in 1931, serving as president, 1938–1945 and 1948–1951, and as chairman, 1945–1953 and 1956–1958. He also worked for Creole Petroleum, the Venezuelan subsidiary of Standard Oil of New Jersey, from 1935–1940. From 1932 to 1979 he served as a trustee of the Museum of Modern Art, where he also served as treasurer, from 1935–1939, and president, from 1939–1941 and 1946–1953. He and his four brothers established the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a philanthropy, in 1940, where he served as trustee, from 1940–1975 and 1977–1979, and as president in 1956.

Rockefellers political career began in 1940 after he had expressed his concern to President Franklin D. Roosevelt over Nazi influence in Latin America. As a result, the President appointed him to the new position of Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs (CIAA) in the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs (OCIAA). In 1944, President Roosevelt appointed Rockefeller Assistant Secretary of State for American Republic Affairs. As Assistant Secretary of State, he initiated the Inter-American Conference on Problems of War and Peace in 1945. After the war, President Truman appointed Rockefeller as Chairman of the International Development Advisory Board. In 1954 he was appointed Special Assistant to the President for Foreign Affairs (sometimes referred to as Special Assistant to the President for Psychological Warfare). Rockefeller proposed the creation of the Planning Coordination Group in 1955 and created the Special Studies Project directed by Henry Kissinger in 1956. He resigned from the federal government that same year and turned his focus to state politics in New York where he was elected governor in 1958 and re-elected in 1962, 1966 and 1970. Rockefeller died on January 26, 1979.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Nelson Rockefeller letters

Identifier: MS-854
Date(s): 1930 to 1979

Nelson Rockefeller (1908-1979), businessman and politician. Dartmouth College Class of 1930. The collection contains letters written to Lee A. Chilcote by Rockefeller, a classmate from the Dartmouth College Class of 1930.