John Davison Rockefeller, Jr. (January 29, 1874 – May 11, 1960) was a major philanthropist and a pivotal member of the prominent Rockefeller family. During the Great Depression he developed and was the sole financier of a vast 14-building real estate complex in the geographical center of Manhattan, Rockefeller Center®.
It was the largest private building project ever undertaken in modern times. More than 75,000 people worked on the construction of the Center during those Depression years.
The principal builder and “managing agent” for the massive project was John R. Todd and the principal architect was Raymond M. Hood, who worked with and directed a team from three different architectural firms. Hood was the greatest skyscraper architect of the 1920s, embodying and inspiring the evolution of skyscraper design in America during the decade, and the Rockefeller Center was his last major project.