Richard Rockefeller, the son of the prominent philanthropist David Rockefeller, was killed Friday morning when the small plane he was piloting crashed shortly after takeoff, according to a spokesman for the family.
Rockefeller, 65, was the only person on board the plane, which the Federal Aviation Administration identified as a Piper PA-46.
The cause of the crash was not immediately clear. Rockefeller took off from the Westchester County Airport in New York around 8 on a rainy and foggy morning. His plane crashed less than a mile from the airport, near Cottage Road in the town of Harrison.
Rockefeller, a physician who lived in Falmouth, Maine, was flying home after visiting his father, David, to celebrate his 99th birthday.
David Rockefeller, the grandson of the Standard Oil co-founder John D. Rockefeller, is the oldest living member of the storied family.
Fraser P. Seitel, the family spokesman, said Richard Rockefeller was an experienced pilot.
“The family is in shock,” he said. “This is a terrible tragedy. Richard was a wonderful and cherished son, brother, husband, father and grandfather.”
Rockefeller practiced medicine for years in Maine.
He also chaired the U.S. Advisory Board of Doctors Without Borders from 1989 until 2010, and served on the board of Rockefeller University until 2006.
Seitel said that, most recently, Rockefeller was working to help establish better treatment for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
He was also a past president of the Rockefeller Family Fund.
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