Billionaire banker and philanthropist David Rockefeller died Monday at his home in Pocantico Hills, New York. He was 101. Rockefeller was the world's oldest billionaire, and the last surviving grandson of Standard Oil co-founder John D. Rockefeller.
Rockefeller served as Chase Manhattan's president and later chairman and CEO during his 35 years at the company, expanding the bank's international presence and playing a hand in U.S. foreign policy and financial affairs. He also won a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998 for his philanthropic work. Bloomberg reported Rockefeller gave away "more than $900 million during his lifetime," donating generously to New York's Museum of Modern Art and to his alma mater, Harvard University. Becca Stanek
Before Donald Trump takes office on Jan. 20, 2017, President Obama will sit down for meetings with key U.S. allies during the final international tour of his presidency. Obama will embark Monday on a six-day trip to Greece, Peru, and Germany: In Peru, Obama will attend an Asia economic summit and meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Australian Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull in Lima; in Germany, he will dine with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and meet with European leaders, including British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President François Hollande; in Greece, his final stop, he will deliver a speech about globalization, meet with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, and stop by the Parthenon.
The Associated Press reported Obama is expected to "bolster support" for existing deals on Iran's nuclear program, climate change, and trade — all of which have been threatened by President-elect Trump over the course of his campaign. Obama's trip to Greece is the final state visit of his presidency, and the entire six-day itinerary had been planned as a "goodbye tour," AP noted, but Obama adviser Ben Rhodes said the president is now anticipating questions about how Trump's election will impact U.S. relations. Becca Stanek
Character actor Abe Vigoda, best known for his roles as Sal Tessio in The Godfather and Detective Phil Fish on the sitcom Barney Miller, died peacefully in his sleep Tuesday morning at the age of 94, roughly 34 years after People magazine famously and erroneously reported his death.
Vigoda was born in New York City in 1921 and worked in theater for 30 years before finding fame. "When I was a young man, I was told success had to come in my youth," he said at his 80th birthday party. "I found this to be a myth. My experiences have taught me that if you deeply believe in what you are doing, success can come at any age." Becca Stanek
Former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, known for his work under President Bill Clinton and for pleading guilty to destroying documents from the National Archives in 2005, died Wednesday of cancer at age 70. Berger assisted in pushing for free trade in Africa and Asia, carrying out airstrikes against Saddam Hussein's forces and in Kosovo, and working to achieve peace agreements between Israel and the Palestinians.
"Today, his legacy can be seen in a peaceful Balkans, our strong alliance with Japan, our deeper relationships with India and China,” President Obama said in a statement.
Berger previously worked in the State Department under Jimmy Carter and later founded an international consulting firm. Becca Stanek