Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller

Compiled by D. A. Sharpe


Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller is the fourth grandnephew of Johann Philip Rockefeller, the husband of Catherina Sharp.  Philip and Catherina are my third grand aunt and uncle.  Catherina is the granddaughter of Jacob A. Scherp, the German immigrant who come to America in 1710 among a group of some 3,000 German Palatines.  Nelson's highest office served was as Vice President of the United States. The relationship to me is that Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller is the 3rd cousin, five times removed of Johann Philip Rockefeller, the husband of Catherina Sharp, my 3rd great aunt.


About five weeks prior to Nelson's birth, Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig and many other cartoon characters, was born on May 30, 1908.  Nelson was born the year that Sir Rex Harrison, the Academy Award-winning English stage and film actor, was born in 1908.




Nelson's political life began by winning the governorship of the State of New York.  Gov. Rockefeller resigned his Governor's office in 1973 and established the Commission on Critical Choices for Americans, a group devoted to the study of world problems.  When President Richard M. Nixon resigned the Presidency of the United States, then Vice President Gerald Ford assumed that office.  President Ford nominated Nelson Rockefeller to succeed him as Vice President, which was confirmed by the United States Senate.   Nelson took office December 19, 1974.


Both Nelson and his brother, Winthrop, were elected to the office of State Governor in New York and in Arkansas.  They are the only set of brothers who ever served as governor of two different states at the same time.  At the 1968 Republican National Convention, Winthrop Rockefeller received backing from members of the Arkansas delegation as a "favorite son" presidential candidate.  As his brother, Nelson, was then concluding a major presidential bid, they became the first brothers ever to receive votes for President at the same major-party convention.


Nelson's experiences included being director, Office of Inter-American Affairs 1940-1944; Assistant Secretary of State for Latin-American Affairs 1944-1945; returned to family philanthropic activities and helped establish American International Association; member and chairman of President's Advisory Committee on Government Organization 1953-1958; Under Secretary of the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare 1953-1954; Special Assistant to the President for Foreign Affairs 1954-1955; Governor of New York 1959-1973.


Nelson Rockefeller was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 1964, 1968, and 1972;  nominated by President Gerald R. Ford on August 20, 1974, under the provisions of the twenty-fifth amendment to the Constitution, to be the forty-first Vice President of the United States; confirmed by the Congress and took the oath of office on December 19, 1974, and served until January 20, 1977, when the term ended; returned to family philanthropic activities and worked extensively on his art collection in New York, N.Y., where he died on January 26, 1979; was cremated; his ashes were interred at the family estate, Pocantico Hills, New York. 




Gathered by

Dwight Albert (D. A.) Sharpe

805 Derting Road East

Aurora, TX 76078-3712

Biographical Sketch Information