The day after incorporating the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the five sons of philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr.—John 3rd, Nelson, Laurance, Winthrop, and David—gathered at the family home in Pocantico Hills, New York.
RBF gifts to United Service to China, a consortium of eight American agencies created to secure funds for relief and rehabilitation in China, followed naturally from the family’s long connection to the country.
The Riverside Church has had a strong presence in social justice campaigns including the anti-war, anti-death penalty, and immigrants’ rights movements. It has served as a speaking forum for Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, Desmond Tutu, and Nelson Mandela.
Housed since 1899 in the Bronx through an agreement with the City of New York, the New York Zoological Park, known as the “Bronx Zoo,” remains one of the largest and most-visited wildlife conservation parks in the world.
All five Rockefeller brothers served in the war. While the Fund made some grants during the war years, its work became more robust after 1946, when the brothers returned to their offices at Room 5600, 30 Rockefeller Center in New York City.
After World War II, the Cold War prompted the Fund to focus on democratic education in areas of strategic importance. Support for the Near East College Association, Inc., began in 1946 and continued into the mid-1950s.