U.S. philantropist and oil magnate John D. Rockefeller gives a dime to a child, in this undated picture. Rockefeller was noted for his habit of giving coins as tips to all and sundry. (AP Photo)
The Rockefeller family is divesting some of its massive fortune from fossil fuels, the New York Times reported on Sunday. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the family's charitable arm, will announce the landmark move in a video conference on Monday along with 49 other foundations.
According to USA Today, the 50 groups will divest from 200 major oil and gas companies.
The Rockefellers are especially noteworthy given their family history. Patriarchs John D. Rockefeller and William Rockefeller amassed their fortunes while working in their oil industry. The Rockefeller brothers were co-founders of the Standard Oil Company, the world's largest oil refiner at the time.
The Rockefellers were also celebrated for their philanthropic work. According to his 1937 New York Times obituary, John D. Rockefeller gave $530 million to charity during his lifetime. He also helped establish the University of Chicago.
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund has been a major supporter of environmental advocacy. Last year, the charity gave over $6 million in grants to sustainable development projects.
The fossil fuel divestment movement has gained many other high-profile supporters in recent months, including actor Mark Ruffalo.
"It's a snowballing movement," Stephen Heintz, president of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, told USA Today.
According to the Washington Post, the Rockefellers plan to first divest from coal and tar-sands mining.