He was also the guardian of his family's fortune and head of a sprawling network of family interests, both business and philanthropic, that ranged from environmental conservation to the arts.
Rockefeller was named president of Chase Manhattan in 1961. He was named chairman and CEO of the bank in 1969.
He retired in 1981 at age 65.
In his role of business statesman, Rockefeller preached capitalism at home and favored assisting economies abroad on grounds that bringing prosperity to the Third World would create customers for American products.
Rockefeller and his wife, the former Margaret McGrath, were married in 1940 and had six children - David Jr., Richard, Abby, Neva, Margaret and Eileen. His wife, an active conservationist, died in 1996.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.