Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller (July 8, 1908 – January 26, 1979) was an American businessman and politician who served as the 41st vice president of the United States from 1974 to 1977, and previously as the 49th governor of New York from 1959 to 1973.
He also served as assistant secretary of State for American Republic Affairs for Presidents Franklin D.
Roosevelt and Harry S.
Truman (1944–1945) as well as under secretary of Health, Education and Welfare under Dwight D.
Eisenhower from 1953 to 1954.
A grandson of billionaire John D.
Rockefeller and a member of the wealthy Rockefeller family, he was a noted art collector and served as administrator of Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, New York.
Rockefeller was a Republican who was often considered to be liberal, progressive, or moderate.
In an agreement that was termed the Treaty of Fifth Avenue, Rockefeller persuaded Richard Nixon to alter the Republican Party platform just before the 1960 Republican Convention.
In his time, liberals in the Republican Party were called "Rockefeller Republicans".
As Governor of New York from 1959 to 1973, Rockefeller's achievements included the expansion of the State University of New York, efforts to protect the environment, the construction of the Governor Nelson A.
Rockefeller Empire State Plaza in Albany, increased facilities and personnel for medical care, and the creation of the New York State Council on the Arts.
After unsuccessfully seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 1960, 1964 and 1968, Rockefeller was appointed vice president of the United States under President Gerald R.
Ford, who ascended to the presidency following the August 1974 resignation of Richard Nixon.
Rockefeller was the second vice president appointed to the position under the 25th Amendment, following Ford himself.
Rockefeller was not placed on the 1976 Republican ticket with Ford.
He retired from politics in 1977 and died two years later.
As a businessman, Rockefeller was president and later chair of Rockefeller Center, Inc., and he formed the International Basic Economy Corporation in 1947.
Rockefeller assembled a significant art collection and promoted public access to the arts.
He served as trustee, treasurer, and president of the Museum of Modern Art, and founded the Museum of Primitive Art in 1954.
In the area of philanthropy, he founded the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in 1940 with his four brothers and established the American International Association for Economic and Social Development in 1946.