Messinger is a New Yorker by birth -- she is the youngest daughter of philanthropist John D. Rockefeller III -- and a Minnesotan by marriage.
When she met and married Mark Dayton, she slid into the role of a stay-at-home south Minneapolis mom who, for the next three decades, would also pump millions of dollars into local and national causes, including community development agencies, women's rights and environmental causes. Dayton and Messinger have been divorced since 1986. They remain close, both as parents and through an arm's-length political alliance. They do not, they say, collaborate on policy.more » « less