Being a Rockefeller, Becoming Myself

By Eileen Rockefeller
(Blue Rider Press, Hardcover, 9780399164088, 319pp.)

Publication Date: September 12, 2013

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Description

The daughter of David and Peggy Rockefeller and a great-granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller, Eileen Rockefeller understood at an early age that her name was synonymous with American royalty. She learned in childhood that wealth and fame could open any door; but as the youngest of six children and one of twenty-two cousins in one of the world’s most famous families, she began to realize that they could not buy a sense of personal worth.

Growing up with servants in lavish homes did little to compensate for the absence of parental attention resulting from continual cocktail and dinner parties, meetings, and foreign travel. Her mother’s dark depressions and mercurial moods, plus intense competition from her siblings, and the myriad feelings others harbored about her Rockefeller name adulation, judgment, envy, and endless curiosity contributed to Eileen’s sense of isolation and loneliness as well as to her drive for connection with others. In adulthood, she has become not an icon, but an accomplished woman and mother. Like all of us, she learned to find her own way.

Through her intimate stories she shows us her philosophy: that power and richness come not from material goods, but from personal relationships and co-creation. This belief has strengthened her dedication to family and friends, and catalyzed her leadership in philanthropy and service. A pioneer in mind/body practices and social and emotional learning, and an active proponent of environmental sustainability, Eileen has forged a singular path even as she remains dedicated to her family’s legacy, finding her own balance and peace of mind. Being a Rockefeller, Becoming Myself is a universal affirmation of how identity is shaped and how we can contribute to the larger family of life, regardless of our origins.




About the Author
Eileen Rockefeller is the youngest daughter of David and Peggy Rockefeller, and a great-granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller. She is the founding chair of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisers and the Growald Family Fund. She lives in Vermont with her husband.
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