This collection documents the private life and personal activities, largely philanthropic, of Abby Rockefeller Mauzé (1903-1976). The bulk of the material contained in the collection dates from before 1960.
This small collection will likely have significance for scholars working in women's studies who can gain a sense of the work of an intensely private philanthropist whose family was otherwise dominated by powerful men.
Additional materials of note are the folders of correspondence with her father, mother, and brothers. Interactions with her daughters and their spouses are also noteworthy.
Biographical / Historical:
Abby Rockefeller Mauzé (November 9, 1903-May 27, 1976) was born Abby Rockefeller in New York City, the first child and only daughter of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. (1874-1960) and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (1874-1948). She soon became known as "Babs" to family and friends to differentiate her from her mother. She attended Brearley School and Miss Chapin's School, both located in New York City.
Along with her five brothers--John 3rd, Nelson, Laurance, Winthrop, and David--Babs continued the Rockefeller family's philanthropic tradition established by her father and grandfather. In contrast to her brothers, who became public figures, she conducted her philanthropic activities quietly. She was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund; an advisory member of the Board of Trustees of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (a chief benefactor of the Center along with her brother Laurance, she received its Medal of Appreciation in 1965); and an honorary trustee of the Rockefeller Family Fund.
She also was a benefactor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the YWCA, New York Hospital, the Museum of Modern of Art (of which her mother was a founder, and in whose development her brothers Nelson and David played major roles), the New York Zoological Society (which also was a major interest of her brother Laurance), and the Asia Society (in whose development her brother John also played a major role).
In 1968 Babs created the Greenacre Foundation, of which she was president, to maintain and operate one or more parks in New York for the benefit of the public. In 1971, she established Greenacre Park, a small vest-pocket park and waterfall on 51st Street in Manhattan, to provide New Yorkers "some moments of serenity in this busy world." Laurance Rockefeller, a trustee of the Foundation, also helped to create the park.
Babs Rockefeller was married three times. On May 14, 1925, she married David M. Milton, a lawyer and investment banker. The Miltons had two children: Abby (who married George Dorr O'Neill) and Marilyn (who married William Kelly Simpson). The Miltons were divorced in 1943. In 1946, Babs married Dr. Irving H. Pardee, a neurologist, who died in 1949. On April 23, 1953, she married Jean Mauzé, senior vice president of United States Trust Company. He died in 1974. Mrs. Mauzé died May 27, 1976, at her Manhattan apartment on Beekman Place.
The Office of the Messrs. Rockefeller records are arranged by subject matter in 27 series. Most of these series are wholly or partially open for research. The series are:
A John D. Rockefeller, Sr.; C Business Interests; D Civic Interests; E Cultural Interests; F Economic Reform Interests; G Educational Interests; H Friends and Services; I Homes; J Housing Interests; K Medical Interests; L Real Estate; M Maps and Memorabilia; N Religious Interests; O Rockefeller Boards; P Welfare - General Files; Q World Affairs; R Welfare - Youth Files; S Documents; T Public Relations; U Public Land Law Review Commission; V Greenrock; W Properties; X Costume Collection; Y Media; Z John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Personal; AA Abby Aldrich Rockefeller; AC Abby Rockefeller Mauzé.
This collection is arranged in seven series and one subseries:
Series 1 - Family.Series 2 - Finances.Series 3 - Real Estate. Series 4 - Subject Files.Series 5 - Children and Grandchildren. Series 6 - Personal Diaries.Series 7 - Audiovisual materials. Abby Rockefeller Mauze family photographs, Subseries 1005A.
Open for research with select materials restricted as noted. Brittle or damaged items are available at the discretion of RAC. Material in the Rockefeller family collections that provides the names, correspondence, or activities of living members of the Rockefeller family, and/or documents the net wealth of any Rockefeller family members, is restricted. Researchers interested in accessing digital media (floppy disks, CDs, DVDs, etc.) or audiovisual material (audio cassettes, VHS, etc.) in this collection must use an access surrogate. The original items may not be accessed because of preservation concerns. To request an access surrogate be made, or if you are unsure if there is an access surrogate, please contact an archivist.
TERMS OF ACCESS:
Reproduction/duplication of archival items is routinely provided in accordance with "fair use." If the RAC does not hold copyright for an archival collection, or items within a collection, it is the user's responsibility to contact the copyright holder, or make a fair effort to do so, prior to publication.