Nelson Rockefeller (1908-1982) was the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare from 1949-1957, and the running mate of Harold Stassen in the 1956 Presidential Election. Failing to gain the nomination for President in 1960, Rockefeller returned in 1964 to win the Republican nomination and go on to defeat President Hubert Humphrey in the November election. Rockefeller inherited a country torn apart by civil rights violence in the south and rising crime rates in the larger cities, and was frequently at odds with the more conservative congress. Entering the 1968 Presidential Election, Rockefeller seemed certain to lose to the charismatic Joseph Kennedy Jr, due to an economic boom that summer, Rockefeller managed once again to squeak by his Democratic opponent to win another term in the White House.
Compared to the more conservative members of the Republican Party, Rockefeller was more liberal in domestic policies, favoring high taxation, high government spending, building more infrastructure (especially highways and universities), supporting environmentalism, the arts, New Deal regulations of business, and Social Security.
Rockefeller had the distinction of being the first president to be caught in the media frenzy of an extra-marital affair with an intern, which hounded most of his second term in office. Once his two terms were finished Rockefeller retired back to New York, where he wrote his memoirs. He vocally opposed the libertarian stance of the Republican Party in 1976. On March 7, 1982 Rockefeller suffered a heart attack at his estate in New York, and died two days later.