Richard Rockefeller

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Richard Rockefeller
Born Richard Gilder Rockefeller
(1949-01-20)January 20, 1949
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died June 13, 2014(2014-06-13) (aged 65)
Harrison, New York
Cause of death Plane crash
Alma mater Harvard Medical School
Occupation Physician
Spouse(s) Nancy King
Children 4
Parent(s) David Rockefeller
Margaret McGrath Rockefeller

Richard Gilder Rockefeller (January 20, 1949 – June 13, 2014)[1] was a family physician in Falmouth, Maine who practiced and taught medicine in Portland, Maine, from 1982 to 2000. He was married and had two children and two stepchildren. A son of Margaret McGrath Rockefeller and banker David Rockefeller, he was a grandson of American financier John D. Rockefeller Jr., and a great grandson of American business magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Sr.

He was chairman of the United States Advisory Board of Doctors Without Borders from 1989 until 2010, and served on the board of Rockefeller University in New York City until 2006. In the last few years of his life, Rockefeller was working to establish better worldwide methods of treatment for individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.[1]

Rockefeller was the founder and former chairman of Hour Exchange Portland, a service credit barter in Portland and throughout the state of Maine. He also served as chairman of the board of Maine Coast Heritage Trust from 2000 to 2006. In addition to his degree from Harvard Medical School,[1] Rockefeller held a master's degree in Education, and was president of the Rockefeller Family Fund.[2]


Rockefeller, an experienced pilot, was flying home after visiting his father at the Rockefeller family estate in Pocantico Hills, a hamlet in the town of Mount Pleasant, New York. The family patriarch, his father, David Rockefeller, had celebrated his 99th birthday on June 12, 2014.

Rockefeller took off from Westchester County Airport in a Piper Meridian single-engine turboprop at 8:08 a.m. on June 13, 2014, departing from runway 16 in dense fog and steady rain. Less than 10 minutes later, the Federal Aviation Administration notified airport officials it had lost contact with the pilot. At 8:23 a.m. local police in the town of Harrison, New York reported Rockefeller's plane crashed less than a mile from the airport in the town of Harrison. Rockefeller, the pilot, was the only person on the private plane.[3][4][5]

The cause of the crash was attributed to the pilot's failure to maintain a positive climb rate after takeoff due to spatial disorientation (somatogravic illusion).[6]

Richard is the only one of six siblings to have died during his father's lifetime. Through him, he was also a nephew of the late U.S. Vice President Nelson Rockefeller.