He graduated from Harvard University in 1961 with a B.A. in Far Eastern Languages and History.
In 1966, he was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates and to the office of West Virginia Secretary of State in 1968. He served as President of West Virginia Wesleyan College from 1973 to 1976. In 1976, Rockefeller was elected Governor of West Virginia, and was re-elected in 1980. In 1984, he was elected to the United States Senate, and re-elected in 1990, 1996 and 2002.
Rockefeller has been married to Sharon Percy Rockefeller in 1967. The two have four children: John, Valerie, Charles, and Justin. Jay and Sharon are also grandparents to four granddaughters and one grandson.
Supported by Council for a Livable World
The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Jay Rockefeller in his successful Senate run as candidate for West Virginia.
- Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Chairman
- Health Care Subcommittee on Finance, Chairman
- Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
- Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs.