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Laurance S. Rockefeller ’32

Published in Oct. 6, 2004, issue

Larry, a conservationist, philanthropist, and leading figure in the field of venture capital, died in his sleep July 11, 2004. He was 94.

He prepared at Lincoln School of Columbia University's Teachers College and graduated from Princeton in 1932. He was chairman of the pictorial board of the Princetonian, chairman of the Student-Faculty Association, chairman of the Undergraduate Committee, and a member of the class relay team and Ivy Club.

Sophomore year he roomed with Amos Eno, and junior and senior years with E. Lansing Ray, G. Vietor Davis, Charles E. Scarlett Jr., and Donald H. Hooker.

Larry served as a charter trustee of Prince-ton from 1967-80. He made many gifts to the University across the spectrum of his social, scientific, and intellectual interests, including establishing the University Center for Human Values and launching the Department of Molecular Biology. He founded the American Conservation Association in 1958 and was head of Jackson Hole Preserve Inc., a conservation organization that played a major role in protecting parts of the Grand Tetons in Wyoming and redwood trees in California.

He helped develop national parks and led the White House Conference on Natural Beauty. He also was a pivotal developer of the economics field that became known as venture capital.

In 1938, he helped finance World War I pilot Eddie Rickenbacker's Eastern Airlines and later invested in McDonnell Aircraft Corp., Intel Corp., and Apple Computer Inc. He funded ventures that would strengthen national security, welfare or the economy.

Larry's wife, Mary French Rockefeller, died in 1997. He is survived by four children, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, to whom the class extends its sincere condolences.

The Class of 1932

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