Birth Name: Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller
Date of Birth: July 8, 1908
Place of Birth: Bar Harbor, Maine, U.S.
Date of Death: January 26, 1979
Place of Death: New York City, New York, U.S.
Ethnicity: English, with small amounts of Dutch, German, and Welsh
Nelson Rockefeller was an American politician, businessperson, philanthropist, and public servant. A member of the Republican Party, he served as the 41st Vice President of the United States, from December 19, 1974 to January 20, 1977. He was appointed to the position by President Gerald Ford, after Ford himself ascended from the Vice Presidency to the Presidency.
Vice President Rockefeller was previously the 1st Assistant Secretary of State for American Republic Affairs, from December 20, 1944 to August 17, 1945, the 1st Under Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, from June 11, 1953 to December 22, 1954, and the 49th Governor of New York, from January 1, 1959 to December 18, 1973.
Vice President Rockefeller was the son of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (born Abby Greene Aldrich), a socialite and philanthropist, and John D. Rockefeller, Jr. (John Davison Rockefeller, Jr.), a philanthropist and businessperson. His parents were both from wealthy, prominent families. He was a sibling of prominent businesspeople and philanthropists Abby Rockefeller Mauzé, John D. Rockefeller III, Laurance Rockefeller, Winthrop Rockefeller, and David Rockefeller. Winthrop Rockefeller was also a prominent politician, whose name was placed in nomination for the 1968 Republican nomination for President of the United States; he was Governor of Arkansas, from January 10, 1967 to January 12, 1971.
Vice President Rockefeller was married to philanthropist Happy Rockefeller (born Margaretta Large Fitler), until his death. He had five children, including businessperson and philanthropist Rodman Rockefeller, Middlebury College dean Steven Clark Rockefeller, and the vanished Michael Rockefeller, with his former wife Mary Rockefeller (born Mary Todhunter Clark); and two children, including Mark Rockefeller, with Happy. Mary was the daughter of cricketer Percy Clark, and a granddaughter of Edward White Clark, the head of prominent Philadelphia financial firm E. W. Clark & Company; and of George Brooke Roberts, who was president of the Pennsylvania Railroad.
On his father’s side, Vice President Rockefeller was a nephew of Elizabeth Rockefeller Strong; philanthropist and socialite Alta Rockefeller Prentice; and socialite Edith Rockefeller McCormick. On his mother’s side, Vice President Rockefeller was a nephew of philanthropist and art collector Lucy Aldrich; Richard S. Aldrich, a lawyer and Republican Party politician, who was a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Rhode Island, from March 4, 1923 to March 3, 1933; and banker and financier Winthrop W. Aldrich, who was Ambassador to the U.K., from February 2, 1953 to February 1, 1957.
His ancestry was English, with small amounts of Dutch, German, and Welsh.
Vice President Rockefeller’s patrilineal ancestry can be traced to Johann Peter Rockefeller, who was born, c. 1681, in Segendorf, Rhineland, Germany.
Vice President Rockefeller’s paternal grandfather was John D. Rockefeller (John Davison Rockefeller, the son of William Avery Rockefeller and Eliza Davison). John was born in New York, and co-founded the Standard Oil Company. William was the son of Godfrey Lewis Rockefeller and Lucy Avery. Eliza was the daughter of John Davison and Sytje/Sycha “Cynthia” Selover.
Vice President Rockefeller’s paternal grandmother was Laura Spelman Rockefeller (born Laura Celestia Spelman, the daughter of Harvey Buel Spelman and Lucy Henry). Laura was born in Ohio, and was an abolitionist, philanthropist, and schoolteacher. Harvey was the son of Samuel Buel Spelman and Laura Seymour. Lucy was the daughter of William Henry and Rachel Frary.
Vice President Rockefeller’s maternal grandfather was Nelson W. Aldrich (Nelson Wilmarth Aldrich, the son of Anan Evans Aldrich and Abby Ann Burgess). Vice President Rockefeller’s grandfather Nelson Aldrich was born in Foster, Rhode Island, and was a prominent Republican Party politician, who was a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Rhode Island, from March 4, 1879 to October 4, 1881, and a U.S. Senator from Rhode Island, from October 5, 1881 to March 3, 1911. Vice President Rockefeller’s great-grandfather Anan was the son of Job Aldrich and Jane Jones. Vice President Rockefeller’s great-grandmother Abby was the daughter of Gideon Burgess and Phebe/Phoebe Williams.
Vice President Rockefeller’s maternal grandmother was Abby Pearce/Pierce Truman Chapman (the daughter of Francis Morgan Chapman and Lucy Anne Truman). Abigail was born in Connecticut. Francis was the son of Amos Chapman and Amy Morgan. Lucy was the daughter of Jonathan Truman and Mary Willet/Willett.
Among Vice President Rockefeller’s many prominent ancestors also is William Brewster (c. 1566-1644), a Mayflower passenger and noted Pilgrim. Among many of William’s other descendants are actors Jordana Brewster, Paget Brewster, Chevy Chase, Taylor Lautner, Seth MacFarlane, and Elisabeth Shue, actors and models Noah Mills and Brandon Routh, soccer player Clint Dempsey, Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, fellow U.S. Vice President Hannibal Hamlin, and Governor of Arkansas Winthrop Rockefeller.