James Stillman Rockefeller

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James Stillman Rockefeller
Rockefeller in Time magazine in 1924
Born (1902-06-08)June 8, 1902
Manhattan, New York City
Died August 10, 2004(2004-08-10) (aged 102)
Greenwich, Connecticut
Cause of death Stroke
Education Yale University (1924)
Spouse(s) Nancy Carnegie
(m. 1925; her death 1994)
Children 4
Parent(s) William Goodsell Rockefeller
Elsie Stillman
Relatives William Rockefeller (grandfather)
James Stillman (grandfather)
James Stillman Rockefeller
Medal record
Men's rowing
Representing the  United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1924 Paris Men's eight

James Stillman Rockefeller (June 8, 1902 – August 10, 2004) was a member of the prominent U.S. Rockefeller family. He won an Olympic rowing title for the United States then became president of what eventually became Citigroup. He was a trustee of the American Museum of Natural History and a member of the board of overseers of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.[1]

Early life and rowing[edit]

He was born on June 8, 1902 to William Goodsell Rockefeller (1870–1922) and Elsie Stillman, daughter of James Stillman, in Manhattan, New York City.[1] He graduated from Yale University in 1924, where he was elected to Scroll and Key and Phi Beta Kappa. He was also a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon. That same year Rockefeller captained a crew of Yale teammates that included Benjamin Spock. They won a gold medal in rowing at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, France.[1] He appeared on the cover of Time magazine on July 7, 1924.


He spent six years with the Wall Street banking firm of Brown Bros. & Co..[1] He joined the National City Bank in New York in 1930 and was president from 1952 to 1959 and chairman from 1959 to 1967. He retired as chairman in 1967.[1][2] During his tenure, the bank merged with the smaller First National Bank and took the name The First National City Bank of New York.

Under each of his successors, the bank's name has changed: George S. Moore shortened it to "First National City Bank" and formed a holding company, First National City Corp.; under Walter B. Wriston these became "Citibank" and "Citicorp"; under John Reed the firm merged with Travelers Group to become Citigroup. During World War II, Rockefeller served in the Airborne Command.[1]

Personal life[edit]

On April 15, 1925, he married Nancy Carnegie (d. 1994),[3] grandniece of Andrew Carnegie. Nancy helped establish the Greenwich Maternal Health Center in 1935.[3] Together, they had four children:

  • James Stillman Rockefeller Jr., who was married to Liv Coucheron Torp (d. 1969), who had previously been married to Thor Heyerdahl[4]
  • Nancy Sherlock Rockefeller, who married Barclay McFadden, Jr.[5] (d. 1973),[6][7] After his death, she married Daniel Noyes Copp (d. 2015)[8][9]
  • Andrew Carnegie Rockefeller, who married Jean Victoria Mackay[10]
  • Georgia Stillman Rockefeller, who married James Harden Rose[11]

He died on August 10, 2004 at the age of 102 in Greenwich, Connecticut following a stroke.[1]


He lived in Greenwich, Connecticut in a 19,000-square-foot (1,800 m2) brick Georgian mansion, built in 1929, with 11 bedrooms and 16 marble bathrooms on four levels. There are 12 fireplaces, an elevator, an outdoor pool and English gardens.[12] His house was sold in 2004 for $13.4 million and resold again in 2009 for $23.9 million.

In January 1937, he became the full owner of Long Valley Farm near Spring Lake in Cumberland County and Harnett County, North Carolina.[13]


At the time of his death, Rockefeller was survived by four children, fourteen grandchildren, thirty-seven great-grandchildren, and one great-great granddaughter. Rockefeller was America's oldest living Olympic champion, and the earliest living cover subject of Time magazine.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "James S. Rockefeller, 102, Dies; Was a Banker and a '24 Olympian". New York Times. August 11, 2004. Retrieved 2012-09-16. James Stillman Rockefeller, who helped capture an Olympic rowing title for the United States before a banking career with a company that eventually become Citigroup, died yesterday at his home in Greenwich, Conn., his family announced. He was 102. ... 
  2. ^ Citigroup Company history - CitiBank - 1940-55 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-04. Retrieved 2016-10-15. 
  3. ^ a b "Nancy Rockefeller, 93, Community Volunteer". The New York Times. 23 January 1994. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  4. ^ "MRS. J. S. ROCKEFELLER". The New York Times. April 15, 1969. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  5. ^ Times, Special To The New York (30 June 1949). "MISS ROCKEFELLER GREENWICH BRIDE | Daughter of James Stillman Rockefellers Wed in Church to Barclay McFadden Jr". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  6. ^ Times, Special To The New York (15 June 1973). "BARCLAY M. M'FADDEN". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  7. ^ "Miss Nancy Rockefeller" (PDF). The Quarterly Bulletin: 28. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  8. ^ "WEDDINGS;Emily Freund, Ledyard McFadden". The New York Times. 9 June 1996. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  9. ^ "DANIEL NOYES COPP Sr". legacy.com. The Commercial Appeal. July 19, 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  10. ^ Gesu, Antony Dl (9 May 1957). "JEAN V. MACKAY BECOMES FIANCEE; Nurse Will Be Wed in July to Andrew Rockefeller, Who Is a '5l Yale Graduate". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  11. ^ Times, Special To The New York (30 June 1957). "Georgia S. Rockefeller Married In Greenwich to J. Harden Rose; Couple, Has 17 Attendants at Candlelight Ceremony in Christ Episcopal Church". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  12. ^ Wall Street Journal, July 5, 2009. https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052970204120604574252133315358994
  13. ^ Davyd Foard Hood and Margaret Stephenson (August 1993). "Long Valley Farm" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 

External links[edit]

Business positions
Preceded by
Howard C. Sheperd
Chairman of First National City Bank
Succeeded by
George S. Moore
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
William Howard Taft
Cover of Time Magazine
7 July 1924
Succeeded by
Alexey Rykov