David Rockefeller Sr. at Little Long Pond in Seal Harbor in 2015 at an event marking his donation of 1,000 acres of land to the Land and Garden Preserve of Mount Desert Island in honor of his 100th birthday. He died Monday in New York at age 101. PHOTO BY EARL BRECHLIN

MDI philanthropist, Rockefeller patriarch dies at 101

NEW YORK CITY — Billionaire philanthropist and patriarch of the Rockefeller family David Rockefeller Sr. passed away Monday morning. He was 101 years old.

Rockefeller, the last remaining child of John D. Rockefeller Jr., who helped fund the purchase and development of the public lands on Mount Desert Island that would become today’s Acadia National Park, passed away in his sleep at his home in Pocantico Hills, N.Y.

Involved in a wide variety of charities on MDI, Rockefeller donated 1,000 acres of land surrounding Little Long Pond in Seal Harbor to the Land and Garden Preserve of MDI to mark his 100th birthday in 2015.

His extensive philanthropy on MDI included work with Friends of Acadia, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, the Maine Seacoast Mission, College of the Atlantic, MDI Hospital, the Island Housing Trust, the Abbe and Gilley museums, area youth programs, and music and cultural festivals.

The torch on MDI is now passed to the next generation, which includes Rockefeller’s son David Jr. and his daughters, Abigail Aldrich “Abby” Rockefeller, Neva Goodwin, Eileen Rockefeller Growald and Margaret “Peggy” Dulany Rockefeller. He was predeceased by his wife, Peggy (McGrath), and son Richard.

Watch video of Rockefeller being interviewed by Mount Desert Islander reporter Dick Broom in June of 2015, shortly before his 100th birthday:

Earl Brechlin

Editor at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander editor Earl Brechlin first discovered Mount Desert Island 35 years ago and never left. The author of seven guide and casual history books, he is a Registered Maine Guide and has served as president of the Maine and New England Press Associations. He and his wife live in Bar Harbor.

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