Nelson Rockefeller - Death


Rockefeller died on January 26, 1979, at age 70 from a heart attack. An initial report had incorrectly stated that he was at his office at Rockefeller Center working on a book about his art collection, and a security guard found him slumped over his desk. However, the report was soon corrected to state that Rockefeller actually had the fatal heart attack in another office he owned in a townhouse at 13 West 54th Street in the presence of Megan Marshack, an aide. After the heart attack, Marshack called her friend, news reporter Ponchitta Pierce, to the townhouse, and Pierce phoned an ambulance approximately an hour after the heart attack. There was some speculation in the press regarding the possibility of an intimate relationship between Rockefeller and Marshack. For example, long-time Rockefeller aide Joe Persico said in the PBS documentary about the Rockefeller family "It became known that he had been alone with a young woman who worked for him, in undeniably intimate circumstances, and in the course of that evening had died from a heart attack." Rockefeller's four oldest children issued a statement saying they had conducted their own review, they believed that their father could not have been saved, and that all those who tried to help had acted responsibly. Neither Marshack nor the family has commented since on the circumstances surrounding Rockefeller's death.

On January 29, 1979, family and close friends gathered to inter Rockefeller's ashes in a private Rockefeller family cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, New York. His remains had been cremated at Ferncliff Cemetery in nearby Hartsdale. A memorial service was held at Riverside Church in New York on February 2, attended by 2,200 people. Attendees included President Jimmy Carter, former President Gerald Ford, more than 100 members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives including Senator Barry Goldwater, and official representatives from 71 foreign countries. Eulogies were delivered by two of Rockefeller's children, his brother David and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

Read more about this topic:  Nelson Rockefeller

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