Nelson Rockefeller was the 49th governor of New York State, serving from 1959 through 1973. The grandson of John D. Rockefeller and son of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Nelson was, in addition to being one of America’s most well-known politicians, a businessman, philanthropist and art collector, who promoted public access to the arts. A liberal Republican, Rockefeller sought the Republican presidential nomination several times without success. Following Richard Nixon’s resignation, Gerald Ford appointed Rockefeller to serve as his Vice President, from 1974 to 1977. Rockefeller retired from politics in 1976 when he declined to run with Ford.