Nelson A. Rockefeller

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Rockefeller, Nelson Aldrich

Former longtime Republican governor of New York (1959-1973) and Vice-President of the United States under Gerald R. Ford (1974-1977). Brother of former Arkansas Governor Winthrop Rockefeller, and uncle of West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller.

Elected to the New York Governorship in 1958, defeating incumbent Averell Harriman; Re-elected in 1962, 1966 and 1970, serving from 1959 until his resignation in 1973. The resignation was a rather inexplicable event; some say that he was planning a Presidential run, and it was not until 1974 that he was appointed VP by Gerald Ford.

Ford asked the very moderate Rockefeller to stay off the Republican ticket in 1976; the President was trying to appeal to the Conservative base, who hated Rockefeller and the so-called moderate "Rockefeller Republicans". He left office in 1977, and died the following year.

Rockefeller was a noted art collector; as New York governor he promoted the arts extensively. He is also remembered for his ambitious state construction and development initiatives.

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