Being a Rockefeller, Becoming Myself
A pioneering philanthropist and daughter of American royalty reveals what it was like to grow up in one of the world’s most famous families.
The great-granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller, Eileen Rockefeller learned in childhood that while wealth and fame could open any door, they could not buy a feeling of personal worth. The privileges of having servants and lavish summer homes were offset by her parents’ thoughtful yet firm lessons in social obligation, at times by her mother’s dark depressions and mercurial moods, and the competition for attention among her siblings. In adulthood, Rockefeller yearned to be seen not as an icon but as a woman and mother with a normal life, and like all of us, she had to learn to find her own way. Being a Rockefeller, Becoming Myself is an affirmation of how family shapes our identity and the ways we contribute to the larger family of life, regardless of our origins.