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Winthrop Paul Rockefeller (September 17, 1948 – July 16, 2006) was Republican lieutenant governor of the U.S. state of Arkansasmarker from 1996 until his death.

Early life

Rockefeller was the only child of Winthrop Rockefeller, a former governor of Arkansasmarker and an heir to the Rockefeller oil fortune. His mother, the former Jievute Paulekiute Sears, was a former actress and model best known as Bobo (her stage name was Barbara Paul). His parents separated in 1950 and divorced four years later. He was known as Winnie as a child and Win as an adult. By his father's second marriage, he had two stepsiblings, Anne and Bruce Bartley.

After being educated in boarding schools in Englandmarker and Switzerlandmarker, he attended Pembroke Collegemarker, Oxford Universitymarker. He graduated from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texasmarker, with a degree in ranch management.

Political career

Rockefeller served from 1981 to 1995 on the Arkansas State Police Commission. In 1991, he was appointed by President George H. W. Bush to serve on the President’s Council on Rural America and was elected chairman. Rockefeller also was a president of the Quapaw Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America and served on the Boy Scouts National Board of Directors.

He was elected lieutenant governor in a November 1996 special election triggered by the resignation of Governor Jim Guy Tucker and the promotion of then-Lieutenant Governor Mike Huckabee. Rockefeller was subsequently re-elected in 1998 to a full four-year term, receiving 67 percent of the vote. Rockefeller was elected once again in 2002 with 60 percent of the vote.

According to his website: "As lieutenant governor he focused on economic development, education and literacy. As acting governor on September 11, 2001, the day terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, he resisted calls to declare a state of emergency and instead urged Arkansans to remain calm and to donate blood, which they did. He sponsored Project ChildSafe, a national firearms safety program that has distributed hundreds of thousands of free trigger locks in Arkansas, and he served as honorary chairman of the Arkansas Literary Festival. In 1997, Rockefeller created Books in the Attic, a program using existing resources, Boy Scouts, and volunteers to ensure access to reading opportunities for all children. In 2004, he served as chairman of the Republican Party of Arkansas."

In 2007, with permission from the Rockefeller family, the Arkansas Chapter of Young Republicans named their "Young Republican of the Year Award" after Win Rockefeller. The inaugural winner was Boyce Hamlet from Warren, Arkansas.


From April 1971-11 January 1979 he was married to Deborah Cluett Sage. The wedding took place in Williamsburg, Virginiamarker. They had three children :Andrea Davidson (1972-), Katherine Cluett (1974-), and Winthrop Paul, Jr. (1976-). Rockefeller was awarded sole custody of the children on 1 November 1985. In 1992, he petitioned the Supreme Court of Arkansas to terminate his more than $25,000 monthly alimony payments or to modify the couple's 1979 divorce agreement, claiming that his former wife had contracted a common law or de facto marriage, from which she had additional children . In its decision on 19 November 1998, the court noted that Arkansas does not recognize such marriages, and Lt. Governor Rockefeller's petition was denied .

He married his second wife, Lisenne Dudderar --an administrative assistant with the Arkansas Nature Conservancy-- on 4 June 1983. The marriage took place at the Rockefeller estate near Little Rock, Winrock Farms. They had five children: William (1986-), Colin (1990-), John (1993-), Louis (1996-), and Grace, whom the Rockefellers adopted in Hong Kongmarker. Both their son John and daughter Grace have Down syndrome . Lisenne and Winthrop Rockefeller founded a school for children with learning disabilities in Little Rock, now known as the Academy at Riverdale.


Rockefeller served as chief executive of Winrock Farms, Inc., which had been set up by his father, and had interests in various small businesses around the state: in retailing, automobiles, farming, and the resort industry. He was an active member of the National Federation of Independent Business.

Rockefeller was ranked # 283 on the Forbes magazine list of the nation's wealthiest people in 2005, with a fortune the magazine estimated at $1.2 billion. As lieutenant governor, which was a part-time job, he forwarded his $34,673 state salary to charity.


1986, founded The Billfish Foundation, promoting the conservation of billfish worldwide through education, research and advocacy.

Illness and death

Rockefeller had announced his candidacy for governor and was expected to face the more conservative Asa Hutchinson in the Republican primary election in May 2006. On July 20, 2005, however, he bowed out of the race, citing myeloproliferative disease, a blood disorder that could have developed into leukemia if left untreated. Rockefeller underwent unsuccessful bone marrow transplants at Seattle, Washingtonmarker's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in October 2005 and March 2006.

He returned from Seattle to Little Rock on July 8, 2006, after his second bone marrow transplant failed, and died at 10:37 a.m. on July 16 at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciencesmarker in Little Rockmarker.

His body lay in state at the Capitol Rotunda in Little Rock on July 19. A memorial service was held the next day at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, where Rockefeller was a member.

See also


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