Sharon Percy Rockefeller

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Sharon Percy Rockefeller
Sharon Lee Percy

(1944-12-10) December 10, 1944 (age 74)
OccupationChief executive officer of WETA-TV
Known forFirst lady of West Virginia, 1977-1985
Spouse(s)John Davison Rockefeller IV
(m. 1967–present)
ChildrenJohn Davison Rockefeller V
Valerie Rockefeller
Charles Rockefeller
Justin Aldrich Rockefeller
Parent(s)Charles Harting Percy
Jeanne Valerie Dickerson

Sharon Lee Percy Rockefeller (born December 10, 1944) is the wife of former West Virginia Senator John Davison "Jay" Rockefeller IV and served as that state's First Lady from 1977 to 1985.

She was born in Oakland, California, on December 10, 1944, a twin daughter of Senator Charles Harting Percy (1919—2011) and Jeanne Valerie Dickerson, who died in 1947. She earned a Bachelor's degree at Stanford University and later studied at Morris Harvey College and West Virginia Wesleyan College. Her twin sister Valerie was murdered in 1966 at the family home by a mysterious intruder.[1] Sharon married John Davison "Jay" Rockefeller IV (born 1937) in 1967. He is the son of John Davison Rockefeller III (1906—1978) and Blanchette Ferry Hooker (1909—1992) of the Rockefeller family. She and Jay have four children and seven grandchildren.

As First Lady of West Virginia, she promoted the Public Broadcasting Service, helped establish a centralized system to assist mentally handicapped children, and founded Mountain Artisans, a quilting business for low-income artisans. She also campaigned to lower utility costs and to improve care for the elderly. After Jay was elected to the United States Senate in 1985, she became Chief executive officer of WETA-TV in Washington, D.C. She is a former member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group.[2]

The Rockefellers live in Northwest district of Washington, DC and retain their permanent residence in Charleston, West Virginia.[3]

In 2005 Percy Rockefeller was diagnosed with colon cancer, undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy.[4] Her cancer has since metastasized in the bones.[5] Her experience prompted her to convince film maker Ken Burns to produce the 2015 documentary Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies. [6] It is adapted from the book of the same name by Siddhartha Mukherjee.


  1. ^ McCoppin, Robert; Wall, Glenn (June 14, 2011). "Newly disclosed account surfaces in 1966 Valerie Percy murder case". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
  2. ^ "Former Steering Committee Members". Bilderberg Group. Retrieved 2014-02-08.
  3. ^ "West Virginia's First Ladies," West Virginia Division of Culture and History, June 2007.
  4. ^ "WETA's Percy Rockefeller Diagnosed With Cancer". Retrieved 2015-07-28.
  5. ^ Watch now: Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies. Retrieved 2015-07-28.
  6. ^ "Dome - Diagnosis Inspires Documentary". Retrieved 2015-07-28.

External links[edit]

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Shelley Riley Moore
First Lady of West Virginia
1977 – 1985
Succeeded by
Shelley Riley Moore