Rockefeller, Nelson Aldrich (1908–1979)

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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

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Rockefeller, Nelson Aldrich (1908–1979)

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