John Davison (Jay) Rockefeller IV


Compilation by D. A. Sharpe



John Davison (Jay) Rockefeller IV is the fifth great grandnephew of Johann Philip Rockefeller and Catherina Sharp Rockefeller, my third great grand uncle and aunt.

He was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1966, and to the office of West Virginia Secretary of State in 1968. He won the Democratic nomination for governor in 1972, but was defeated in the general election by the Republican incumbent Governor Arch A. Moore, Jr.. Rockefeller then served as president of West Virginia Wesleyan College from 1973 to 1975.


"John Davison Rockefeller IV, generally known as Jay Rockefeller, has served as a Democratic U.S. Senator from West Virginia since 1985.  He was Governor of West Virginia from 1977 to 1985.  As a great grandson of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, he is the only current politician of the prominent six-generation Rockefeller family (served 1985 - 2015) and the only Democrat in what has been traditionally a staunchly, albeit generally progressive, Republican dynasty.  He won an impressive six consecutive 6-year terms in the United States Senate, representing West Virginia. 


"He is related to several prominent Republican supporters and former officeholders: He is a great-grandson of Rhode Island Senator Nelson W. Aldrich, a nephew of banker David Rockefeller and Arkansas Governor Winthrop Rockefeller and of former U.S. Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller, son-in-law of former Senator Charles H. Percy of Illinois, cousin of Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Winthrop Paul Rockefeller and former brother-in-law of Senator Mark Dayton of Minnesota.


"Born in New York City to John D. Rockefeller III and Blanchette Ferry Hooker, Jay Rockefeller graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in1954. He graduated from Harvard University in 1961 with a B.A. in Far Eastern Languages and History after having spent three years studying Japanese at the International Christian University in Tokyo.


"After college, Rockefeller worked for the Peace Corps in Washington, D.C., under John F. Kennedy, where he developed a friendship with Robert Kennedy, and worked as an assistant to Peace Corps Director Sargent Shriver.  He served as the operations director for the CorpÕs largest overseas program in the Philippines.  He continued his public service in 1964?1965 as a VISTA volunteer, under President Lyndon B. Johnson, during which he moved to Emmons, West Virginia.


"Rockefeller, along with his son Charles, is a trustee of New York's Asia Society, established by his father in 1956; he is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He voted against the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement, which was heavily backed by his uncle, David Rockefeller.


"Since 1967, Rockefeller has been married to the former Sharon Percy, the chief executive officer of WETA, the leading PBS station in the Washington, D.C., area, which broadcasts such notable programs as The News Hour with Jim Lehrer and Washington Week.


"Sharon is the daughter of former U.S. Senator Charles H. Percy of Illinois, who had an association with the Rockefeller family. They have four children: John D. Rockefeller V ("Jamie"), Valerie, Charles, and Justin. Jamie's wife Emily is the daughter of former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.


"The Rockefellers reside in Charleston, West Virginia. They also, like other members of the family, have a ranch in the Grand Teton National Park in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  Bill Clinton (a friend of Rockefeller's) and his family spent their summer vacation in August,1995, at the ranch."




Dwight Albert (D. A.) Sharpe

805 Derting Road East

Aurora, TX 76078-3712