Facts and Events
John Davison Rockefeller III (March 21, 1906 – July 10, 1978) was a major philanthropist and third-generation member of the prominent Rockefeller family. He was the eldest son of philanthropists John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. His siblings were Abby, Nelson, Laurance, Winthrop, and David.
Like his sister Abby, John III eventually settled on philanthropy as his major interest. His brothers Nelson and Winthrop devoted themselves to politics while Laurance went into conservation and David went into banking. He was a major force behind the establishment of the Council on Foundations, the Foundation Center, and Independent Sector. He took a leading role in organizing the Commission on Foundations and Private Philanthropy (better known as the Peterson Commission) and the Commission on Private Philanthropy and Public Needs (better known as the Filer Commission). He also made the initial donation to support Yale University's Program on Non-Profit Organizations, the first academic research center to focus on nonprofits.
In addition to his interest in philanthropy, Rockefeller made major commitments to supporting organizations related to East Asian affairs, including the Institute of Pacific Relations, the Asia Society, and the Japan Society. He was also a major supporter of the Population Council.