Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller (July 8, 1908 – January 26, 1979) was an American politician and businessman. A liberal Republican, he was the 41st vice president of the United States from December 1974 to January 1977. Before becoming Vice President, he was the 49th governor of New York from 1959 to 1973, and served as assistant secretary of State for American Republic Affairs, as well as under secretary of Health, Education and Welfare.
|41st Vice President of the United States|
December 19, 1974 – January 20, 1977
|Preceded by||Gerald Ford|
|Succeeded by||Walter Mondale|
|49th Governor of New York|
January 1, 1959 – December 18, 1973
|Preceded by||W. Averell Harriman|
|Succeeded by||Malcolm Wilson|
|1st Under Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare|
June 11, 1953 – December 22, 1954
|President||Dwight D. Eisenhower|
|Preceded by||Office Created|
|Succeeded by||Herold Christian Hunt|
|1st Assistant Secretary of State for American Republic Affairs|
December 20, 1944 – August 17, 1945
|President||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
Harry S. Truman
|Preceded by||Office Created|
|Succeeded by||Spruille Braden|
Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller
July 8, 1908
Bar Harbor, Maine, U.S.
|Died||January 26, 1979 (aged 70)|
New York City, U.S.
|Resting place||Rockefeller Family Cemetery|
Sleepy Hollow, New York
|Spouse(s)||Mary Todhunter Clark|
(m. 1930–1962; divorced)
Margaretta Large Fitler
(m. 1963–1979; his death)
|Parents||John Davison Rockefeller, Jr.|
Abigail Greene Aldrich
|Residence||New York City|
|Alma mater||Dartmouth College (A.B.)|
Before entering politics, he was a businessman. As a businessman, Rockefeller was president and later chair of Rockefeller Center, Inc., and he formed the International Basic Economy Corporation in 1947. He served as trustee, treasurer, and president of the Museum of Modern Art, and founded the Museum of Primitive Art in 1954.
A grandson of billionaire John D. Rockefeller and a member of the wealthy Rockefeller family, he was an art collector and served as administrator of the Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, New York City. He was from one of the richest and most powerful families in the United States.
Political career Edit
He tried three times to gain his party's nomination for the United States presidency but lost to the slightly more conservative Vice President and future President Richard Nixon in 1960 and 1968 and conservative Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona in 1964. He refused to support Goldwater in the general election after losing to him, which Nixon condemned him for and used to argue that Rockefeller was not a loyal Republican. He was Vice-President from 1974-1977 under Gerald Ford. He waged a campaign against future President George Bush to be appointed to that office. He won. He was a member of the Republican Party. He was in Knights of Pythias.
Vice President, 1974–1977 Edit
When Richard Nixon resigned (quit) as president on August 9, 1974, Vice President Gerald Ford became the president. On August 20, Ford chose Rockefeller to be the next vice president of the United States. He was chosen out of three other people; the other two were Donald Rumsfeld, the then-United States Ambassador to NATO, and George H.W. Bush, the then-chairman of the Republican National Convention (RNC). Bush would later become vice president from 1981 to 1989, and president from 1989 to 1993.
The United States Congress voted to approve Rockefeller to become vice president. On December 10, 1974, the Senate voted 90-7, and on December 19, the House voted 287-128. He became vice president on December 19, 1974. This made him the second person to become vice president under the 25th Amendment—the first being Ford himself.
1976 election Edit
Gerald Ford faced strong opposition when running for the Republican presidential nomination in 1976. He had a hard time getting support from more conservative Republicans. He also was expecting a challenge from a conservative opponent, Ronald Reagan. As a result, Ford decided to choose a different running mate for the election. In November 1975, Rockefeller decided not to run as Ford's running mate for 1976.
Ford was nominated at the 1976 Republican National Convention. Reagan, Barry Goldwater, and other notable conservatives said they would support Ford if he chose a suitable vice presidential nominee. Ford considered several candidates, William Ruckelshaus and Bob Dole. He eventually chose Dole as his running mate.
Rockefeller campaigned actively for the Republican ticket, but Ford lost narrowly to Jimmy Carter. Rockefeller's term as vice president ended on January 20, 1977, and he was replaced by Walter Mondale.
As of 2020, Ford is the last incumbent president to not have his incumbent vice president as his running mate. Ford later said not choosing Rockefeller was one of his biggest mistakes, and "one of the few cowardly things I did in my life."
Personal life Edit
His paternal grandfather was John D. Rockefeller Sr. His maternal grandfather was United States Senator Nelson Aldrich of Rhode Island. He was the son of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and Abby Aldrich. He was Governor of New York from 1959 to 1973. He was the brother of David Rockefeller, chairman of Chase Bank, Winthrop, later Governor of Arkansas, John III, and Laurance. He is the uncle of former Senator John D. Rockefeller IV.
- "Nelson Rockefeller, Last of the Liberal Republicans". ThoughtCo. Retrieved 2023-01-22.
- "Sarasota Herald-Tribune - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com.
- "Chapter 13 – Bush Attempts The Vice Presidency, 1974 « TARPLEY.net". tarpley.net.
- Parmet, Herbert George Bush: The Life of a Lone Star Yankee pages 168-171
- "George H. W. Bush". December 29, 2014.
- "CQ Almanac Online Edition". library.cqpress.com. Retrieved 2022-12-29.
- "Excerpts From Rockefeller Conference Explaining His Withdrawal; 'Are You Going to Stop' Interests of the People". The New York Times. November 7, 1975. p. 16. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
- "Mutual Decision: Vice President's Letter Gives No Reason for his Withdrawal". The New York Times. November 4, 1975. p. 73.
Other websites Edit
Media related to Nelson Rockefeller at Wikimedia Commons
- Rockefeller Archive Center: Nelson Rockefeller Archived 2006-10-14 at the Wayback Machine Contains details on the collection of public and private papers available to researchers at the Center.
- The Rocky Roll Archived 2013-08-27 at the Wayback Machine An extended portrait by Time Magazine of Nelson campaigning for New York Governor in 1958.
- Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress biography