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Mary Rockefeller

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mary Rockefeller
Mary Rockefeller (5279330371).jpg
Rockefeller as First Lady of New York
First Lady of New York
In role
January 1, 1959 – March 16, 1962
GovernorNelson Rockefeller
Preceded byMarie Norton Harriman
Succeeded byHappy Rockefeller
Personal details
Mary Todhunter Clark

June 17, 1907
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedApril 21, 1999(1999-04-21) (aged 91)
New York City, New York, U.S.
(m. 1930; div. 1962)
Children5, including Rodman, Steven, and Michael
ParentsPercy Hamilton Clark
Elizabeth Williams Roberts
RelativesGeorge B. Roberts (grandfather)
EducationFoxcroft School

Mary Todhunter Clark Rockefeller (June 17, 1907 – April 21, 1999) was the first wife of Nelson A. Rockefeller, the 49th Governor of New York. She served as the First Lady of New York from 1959 until the Rockefellers' divorce in March 1962. After their divorce, Nelson Rockefeller remained governor and would become the 41st Vice President of the United States under Gerald Ford.

Early life

Known as Tod to her family, Mary was born in the Germantown section of Philadelphia on June 17, 1907.[1] She was the daughter of Elizabeth Williams (née Roberts) Clark and Percy Hamilton Clark, was an attorney and noted cricketer. Among her siblings were two brothers, John R. Clark and Dr. Thomas W. Clark.[1]

Her maternal grandfather was George B. Roberts, a former president of the Pennsylvania Railroad.[1]

Tod attended the Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Virginia and studied at the Sorbonne in France, but didn't graduate, instead returning to Philadelphia where she made her debut and became active in the Junior League.[1]


In 1932, Mary began volunteering at the Bellevue School of Nursing in Manhattan, which was administered with Bellevue Hospital. She served on the schools' board for many years, including a stint as the board president.[1]

Personal life

On June 23, 1930, Mary married Nelson Rockefeller, a grandson of John D. Rockefeller, at St. Asaph's Episcopal Church in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, with a reception at the home of her parents, a few days after Nelson had graduated from Dartmouth College. They had five children:[2][3]

Mary divorced her husband on March 16, 1962 in Reno, Nevada on grounds of extreme mental cruelty.[10] A year later, "Happy" Murphy became the governor's second wife.

She died at her home on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in 1999 at the age of 91.[1][11]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Eric Pace (22 April 1999), "Mary C. Rockefeller, Governor's Former Wife, Dead at 91", New York Times, pp. C23, retrieved 17 December 2009, Mary Clark Rockefeller, who was prominent in the education of nurses and was New York State's First Lady when she was married to Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller, died yesterday at her home on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. She was 91. ...
  2. ^ Reich, Cary. The Life of Nelson A. Rockefeller: Worlds to Conquer, 1908 - 1958, New York: Doubleday, 1996.
  3. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths ROCKEFELLER, MARY CLARK". The New York Times. 23 April 1999. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  4. ^ Pace, Eric (16 May 2000). "Rodman Rockefeller, 68, Dies; Active in Latin Trade Efforts". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Ann Rockefeller Robertsn, author of The Rockefeller Family Home: Kykuit". Abbeville Press. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  6. ^ "T. G. Harris Weds Ann Roberts". The New York Times. 4 March 1979. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  7. ^ Teltsch, Kathleen (30 December 1984). "The Cousins". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  8. ^ Hoffmann, Carl (March 2014). "What Really Happened to Michael Rockefeller". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  9. ^ Berger, Warren (July 30, 1995). "MICHAEL ROCKEFELLER'S QUEST: HOW DID IT END?". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  10. ^ "Rockefeller, Second Wife Expecting Baby In June". New York Times. January 1, 1964. Retrieved 2010-12-09. Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller, candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination, is a father-to-be. ... Rockefeller, 55, is a grand-father. He and his first wife, Mrs. Mary Todhunter Clark Rockefeller, who divorced him in Reno, Nev., on March 16, 1962, ...
  11. ^ New York Times News Service (April 23, 1999). "MARY CLARK ROCKEFELLER, ONETIME FIRST LADY OF N.Y." Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 17 June 2019.

External links

Honorary titles
Preceded by
First Lady of New York
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 14 October 2021, at 15:57
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