FACT CHECK: Is Laurance Rockefeller Related To John Podesta And Chester Bennington?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Instagram claims Laurance Rockefeller, the late grandson of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, is directly related to former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta and the late Linkin Park vocalist Chester Bennington.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence the three men are directly related in any capacity.

Fact Check:

The Instagram post shows three black-and-white photos of Laurance Rockefeller, Podesta and Bennington. Text in the image reads: “This is Laurence (sic) Rockefeller, his ‘son’ pedophile John Podesta, and his son Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington.”

Laurance Rockefeller, a venture capitalist and philanthropist, died in 2004 at the age of 94, according to his biography on the Rockefeller Archive Center website, and Bennington died of suicide in 2017 at the age of 41, People Magazine reported. John Podesta is currently a visiting professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center and is a member of the board of directors for the Center for American Progress.

Check Your Fact found no evidence that the three men are directly related. Laurance Rockefeller’s obituary published in The New York Times states that he has four children: three daughters and one son, Larry Rockefeller. If John Podesta or Chester Bennington were the sons of Laurance Rockefeller, media outlets likely would have reported on it, yet none have.

John Podesta is the son of John D. Podesta, who died in 1980, according to his mother Mary K. Podesta’s 2007 obituary in the Chicago Sun Times. John D. Podesta’s 1980 obituary published in the Chicago Tribune also shows John Podesta listed as his son. (RELATED: No, John Podesta Was Not Sentenced To Death By A Military Commission)

It is somewhat unclear if the post is alleging that Chester Bennington is the son of John Podesta or Laurance Rockefeller, but both claims are inaccurate. An obituary for Chester Bennington published by The Guardian identifies his father as Lee Russell Bennington, “a police detective who often worked on child abuse cases.”

The Instagram post seems to make a reference to the unfounded “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory, which baselessly alleged John Podesta’s leaked emails proved that he, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other prominent Democrats operated a child sex trafficking ring out of a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant, according to The New York Times.

Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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