James Stillman Rockefeller

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James Stillman Rockefeller
Rockefeller in Time magazine in 1924
Born(1902-06-08)June 8, 1902
DiedAugust 10, 2004(2004-08-10) (aged 102)
EducationYale University (1924)
Nancy Carnegie
(m. 1925; her death 1994)
Parent(s)William Goodsell Rockefeller
Elsie Stillman
RelativesWilliam 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 the Manhattan borough of 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] Rockefeller appeared on the cover of Time magazine on July 7, 1924.


Rockefeller returned from the Olympics and spent the next 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.[citation needed]

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" respectively. 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]

Rockefeller 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 had 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.[citation needed]


  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 September 16, 2012. 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 June 4, 2011. Retrieved October 15, 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b "Nancy Rockefeller, 93, Community Volunteer". The New York Times. January 23, 1994. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  4. ^ "MRS. J. S. ROCKEFELLER". The New York Times. April 15, 1969. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  5. ^ Times, Special To The New York (June 30, 1949). "MISS ROCKEFELLER GREENWICH BRIDE | Daughter of James Stillman Rockefellers Wed in Church to Barclay McFadden Jr". The New York Times. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  6. ^ Times, Special To The New York (June 15, 1973). "BARCLAY M. M'FADDEN". The New York Times. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  7. ^ "Miss Nancy Rockefeller" (PDF). The Quarterly Bulletin: 28. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  8. ^ "WEDDINGS;Emily Freund, Ledyard McFadden". The New York Times. June 9, 1996. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  9. ^ "DANIEL NOYES COPP Sr". legacy.com. The Commercial Appeal. July 19, 2015. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  10. ^ Gesu, Antony Dl (May 9, 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 March 3, 2017.
  11. ^ Times, Special To The New York (June 30, 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 March 3, 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 August 1, 2014.

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
July 7, 1924
Succeeded by
Alexey Rykov