Alida Rockefeller Messinger

Alida Ferry Rockefeller Messinger (born 1948) is an American philanthropist and the youngest daughter of John Davison Rockefeller III.

Early life and family

Messinger was born in 1948. She is the youngest daughter of John Davison Rockefeller III (1906–78) and Blanchette Ferry Hooker (1909–92),[1] and a fourth-generation member of the Rockefeller family. Her brother is former Senator John Davison "Jay" Rockefeller IV (born 1937).[2]

Messinger's father began to teach her about philanthropy when she was five years old.[3] She has said, "My father and mother's greatest fear was that their four children might take their wealth for granted and grow up spoiled and arrogant ... They wanted us to learn early that with wealth comes responsibility."[3]


Messinger is a major donor to conservation[4] and environmental organizations. Her Alida R. Messinger Charitable Trust also funds conservation and environmental groups, as does the Rockefeller Family Fund, founded in 1967, of which she is a trustee.

Messinger also contributes financially to the Center for Public Integrity.[2] She gave over a million dollars to Democratic-leaning 527 organizations in 2004.[5]

Personal life

In 1978, she married Mark Dayton (b. 1947), the son of Bruce Dayton, who was part of a family that started the retail store that eventually became Target. Dayton later served as a United States Senator for Minnesota from 2001 until 2007 and as Governor of Minnesota from 2011 to 2019. Before divorcing in 1986, Messinger and Dayton had two sons together, Eric and Andrew Dayton.[6]

After the divorce, she married William Messinger, president of Aureus, an addiction recovery organization.[2] They have one daughter.

See also


  1. ^ Teltsch, Kathleen (1 December 1992). "Blanchette Rockefeller, 83, Philanthropist, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Kimball, Joe (October 24, 2011). "Alida Messinger, Gov. Dayton's ex-wife and Rockefeller heir, to play more public political role". MinnPost. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Philanthropy for the 21st Century". The New York Times. November 5, 1989. Retrieved 2010-01-11. ... Alida Rockefeller Messinger, 40, says she was only 5 years old ...
  4. ^ Will Evans (September 9, 2008). "Profile: League of Conservation Voters". NPR. Retrieved 2010-01-11. Funders: In 2008, League of Conservation Voters' non-federal 527 received $275,000 from Alida Messinger;
  5. ^ Dotty Lynch And Steve Chaggaris (July 23, 2004). "Washington Wrap". CBS News. Retrieved 2010-01-11. .....the following contributors have donated $1 million dollars of more to various democratic-leaning 527s..... Alida R. Messinger, trustee for the Rockefeller Family Fund, has contributed $1,177,000 this election cycle.
  6. ^ Richert, Catharine (June 19, 2012). "Marriage amendment opponents raise $3.1 million since January". Capitol View. Retrieved 6 December 2017.

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