Skip to main content

Rockefeller, Nelson Aldrich (1908–1979)

Rockefeller, Nelson Aldrich (1908–1979)

Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller (b. 8 July 1908; d. 27 January 1979), businessman, governor of New York (1958–1974), vice president of the United States (1974–1977).

In 1969, President Richard Nixon selected Governor Nelson Rockefeller to tour Latin America and report his findings. Rockefeller's Latin American involvement had begun in 1935 when he became a director of the Venezuelan Creole Petroleum Corporation, an affiliate of Standard Oil of New Jersey. On a trip in 1939, he encountered bitter anti-Americanism, which provoked him to establish an advisory group to study U.S. relations with Latin America. A resulting memorandum addressed business, diplomatic, and cultural issues, and concluded that the government should place someone in charge of improving relations. In August 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Rockefeller to head the newly created Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs.

In 1944, Rockefeller recommended upgrading the Department of State position that dealt with Latin America. When this was done, he was given the position, assistant secretary of state for Latin America. He later served sixteen years as governor of New York before being appointed to the vice presidency by Gerald Ford in 1974.

See alsoPetroleum Industry; United States-Latin American Relations.


Michael S. Kramer and Sam Roberts, "I Never Wanted to Be Vice-President of Anything!" An Investigative Biography of Nelson Rockefeller (1976).

Joseph E. Persico, The Imperial Rockefeller: A Biography of Nelson A. Rockefeller (1982).

Additional Bibliography

Colby, Gerard, and Charlotte Dennett. Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil. New York: HarperCollins, 1995.

Reich, Cary. The Life of Nelson A. Rockefeller: Worlds to Conquer, 1908–1958. New York: Doubleday, 1996.

Rivas, Darlene. Missionary Capitalist: Nelson Rockefeller in Venezuela. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002.

Tota, Antônio Pedro. O imperialismo sedutor: A americanização do Brasil na época da Segunda Guerra. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2000.

                                            Charles Carreras

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Rockefeller, Nelson Aldrich (1908–1979)." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . 19 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Rockefeller, Nelson Aldrich (1908–1979)." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . (January 19, 2019).

"Rockefeller, Nelson Aldrich (1908–1979)." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . Retrieved January 19, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.