- The Washington Times - Monday, July 17, 2006

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Lt. Gov. Win Rockefeller, the unassuming billionaire who last year abandoned a race for Arkansas governor — a post once held by his father — died yesterday after unsuccessful treatments for a blood disorder, his office said. He was 57.

Mr. Rockefeller died yesterday morning at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences with his family present, his spokesman Steve Brawner said.

Bone marrow transplants Oct. 7 and March 29 at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center failed to cure an unclassified myeloproliferative disorder. He returned to Arkansas on July 8 and immediately entered the hospital. The next day, Mr. Rockefeller notified Gov. Mike Huckabee that he could not continue his duties, at least temporarily.

“Win Rockefeller embodied the ideals of compassion, generosity, and humility. He was a wealthy man, but his real wealth was not his money, but his heart for serving others,” Mr. Huckabee said. The governor cut short a trip to New Orleans for the Southern Governor’s Association meeting to return to Little Rock.

The Arkansas Constitution does not let Mr. Huckabee name a replacement to fill the remainder of Mr. Rockefeller’s term, which ends in January. Senate President Jim Argue will direct Arkansas government when Mr. Huckabee is out of state.

The great-grandson of Standard Oil founder John D. Rockefeller ranked No. 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, a part-time job, he donated his $34,673 state salary to charity.

Born Sept. 17, 1948, in New York, Mr. Rockefeller was the only child of former Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller and Barbara “Bobo” Sears. Winthrop Rockefeller, who served two-year terms beginning in 1966, died in 1973 at 60 of cancer.

His son entered politics in 1996, winning a special election to complete the unexpired lieutenant governor term of Mr. Huckabee, who became governor after Gov. Jim Guy Tucker was convicted in a fraud case as part of the Whitewater investigation.

Mr. Rockefeller won re-election twice, winning 67 percent of the vote in 1998 and 60 percent in 2002. As lieutenant governor, he presided over the state Senate and served as governor when Mr. Huckabee was out of the state.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat and a former Arkansas first lady, noted Mr. Rockefeller’s “extraordinary public service” in and out of office.

Mr. Rockefeller was a member of the Arkansas State Police Commission from 1981 to 1995 and chairman of the President’s Council on Rural America after his appointment in 1991 by the first President Bush.

Two of his eight children have Down syndrome, and Mr. Rockefeller and his second wife, Lisenne, started what is now the Academy at Riverdale, a school for children with learning disabilities. As a National Rifle Association member, he sponsored Project ChildSafe to distribute free trigger locks in the state.

Survivors include his second wife, his mother, three daughters, five sons, a granddaughter, a stepbrother and a stepsister.

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