Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Steven and Kimberly Rockefeller

Steven and Kimberly Rockefeller are young New Yorkers who live in Westchester but are very active in philanthropic and social circles in the city.

Steven is a fifth generation Rockefeller, son of Steven Sr. and Anne-Marie Rasmussen who came to this country from Norway for a summer in the 1950s to work on the family staff and ended up marrying one of the sons. It was, at the time (they were later divorced) a fairytale story that made the cover of LIFE, the People Magazine of its day. Steven Sr., whose father, the late Nelson Rockefeller, former governor of New York and Vice-President of the United States under President Gerald Ford, is a Professor Emeritus of Religion, Middlebury College.

Steven Jr. is very active in family philanthropic activities including economic programs to assist third world populations in raising themselves out of poverty. Many of his generation of the family are seriously active in all kinds of charitable and philanthropic activities, It is a trait that distinguishes the Rockefeller family, comparatively, from almost any other American family of wealth. There are many exceptions in many families but in no other family is there the number and concentration of interest in the variety and intensity in the greater good for the public welfare.

Two years ago in Kimberly and Steven were at Versailles for the opening of the restored Trois Fontaines as representatives of the family paying tribute to his great-grandfather John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s (known in the family as Mr. Junior) enormous contribution to the initial refurbishment (of the 23 acres of rooftop) of the chateau. Although he’s an accomplished speaker at functions such as these (and at philanthropic seminars and meetings), like many members of his family, he’s somewhat reserved and unassuming. Kimberly, who’s a good friend of Patty Hearst (who was also along on the trip) and looks like she could be her sister, is the more outgoing of the couple.

These Rockefellers, like many of their siblings and cousins are very much a part of the social scene of New York but, like the work they do for the community, seem to prefer letting others stand in the spotlight to the point where it sometimes appears to be their conscious objective. In many ways they stand out as those who “set a good example,” and for that they’re easy to like, and at times admire.