No individual has contributed more to the commercial and civic life of New York City over a longer period of time than David Rockefeller. I was fortunate to call him a good friend – something my father, a bookkeeper, never would have imagined possible – and I have long admired his commitment to the city, which began with a dollar-a-year job working as a secretary to Mayor Fiorello La Guardia. During my time in City Hall, he was always there for the city when we called, whether it was his generous contributions to MillionTreesNYC and NYC Service, or to our summer youth employment and local arts programs. And of course, the Museum of Modern Art would not be what it is today without David’s leadership and generosity.
“David loved his hometown and was forever optimistic about its future. When others were abandoning Lower Manhattan, David built a new downtown headquarters for Chase Manhattan Bank and conceived a hugely ambitious World Trade Center to revitalize the area. The spirit of civic responsibility that defined his career brought great public benefits to our city and country, and it inspired so many others to become more involved in philanthropy and public affairs. My thoughts are with his children and the entire Rockefeller family during this time.