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John D. Rockefeller’s Life Story – Legends

John Davison Rockefeller Sr. (July 8, 1839 – May 23, 1937) was an American industrialist, philanthropist, and one of the wealthiest Americans in history. He is widely considered the wealthiest American of all time, and the richest person in modern history. Rockefeller was the founder of the Standard Oil Company, which dominated the oil industry and was the first great U.S. business trust.

Rockefeller was born in Richford, New York, the second of six children of William Avery Rockefeller Jr. and Eliza Davison. His father was of English and German descent, while his mother was of Scots-Irish descent. He had a troubled childhood, as his father was a con artist who pretended to be a doctor and traveled around rural New York state, swindling people. Despite this, Rockefeller was able to receive a basic education and went on to attend high school in Cleveland, Ohio.

After high school, Rockefeller worked as a clerk at a commission merchant firm, Hewitt & Tuttle, and later at his uncle’s produce commission firm, Clark & Rockefeller. He saved his money and in 1859, at the age of 20, he used it to start his own produce commission firm, Rockefeller & Andrews. The company proved successful and in 1865, he formed a partnership with his brother William and a friend, Henry Flagler, to create the oil refining firm, Rockefeller, Andrews & Flagler.

In 1870, the partnership was reorganized as the Standard Oil Company, with Rockefeller as the majority shareholder. The company quickly grew to become one of the largest and most powerful oil companies in the world, controlling nearly 90% of the U.S. oil market by 1882. The company’s success was due in large part to its efficient and innovative business practices, such as vertical integration, where the company controlled every aspect of the oil production process from drilling to distribution.

However, Standard Oil’s dominance of the industry led to accusations of monopolistic practices and in 1911, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the company to be broken up into 34 smaller companies, including ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips. Despite this, Rockefeller’s fortune continued to grow, and he became one of the wealthiest men in the world.

Standard Oil Trust Certificate 1896

Rockefeller was also a major philanthropist, giving away over $550 million (equivalent to over $10 billion in 2021) during his lifetime. He founded the University of Chicago, which is considered one of the top universities in the world, and also established the Rockefeller Foundation, which continues to support scientific research, public health initiatives and social welfare programs to this day.

Rockefeller died on May 23, 1937, at the age of 97, leaving behind a fortune estimated to be worth around $1.4 billion (equivalent to over $26 billion in 2021). Despite his immense wealth and business success, Rockefeller’s legacy is somewhat controversial, with some viewing him as a ruthless monopolist and others seeing him as a great philanthropist and business leader.

In conclusion, John D. Rockefeller is widely considered one of the wealthiest and most powerful businessmen in history, known for his role in the founding of the Standard Oil Company, which dominated the oil industry for many years. He was also a major philanthropist, giving away vast sums of money to support education, scientific research and social welfare programs. While his legacy is somewhat controversial, there is no denying the significant impact he had on the American economy and society.

Little Known facts about John D. Rockefeller.

John D. Rockefeller was one of the most successful and well-known industrialists and philanthropists of his time, and there are many facts about his life that are commonly known. However, here are a few less known facts about him:

  • Despite his immense wealth, Rockefeller was known for his frugality and simplicity. He was known to wear the same suit for years and to live in a modest home. He also believed that the pursuit of wealth should not be the end goal, but rather a means to an end, which was to help others.
  • Rockefeller was a devout Baptist and believed that his wealth was a blessing from God that should be used to help others. He was a member of the Euclid Avenue Baptist Church in Cleveland and served as a Sunday School teacher.
  • He was a strong advocate for temperance and believed that the consumption of alcohol was a major social problem. He donated large sums of money to support the temperance movement and was a founding member of the Prohibition Party.
  • Rockefeller was also a major supporter of education and gave large sums of money to support the establishment of schools and universities. He was a trustee of the University of Chicago, which he helped to establish, and also supported the establishment of Spelman College, a historically black college for women in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • He was a collector of rare books and manuscripts and donated his collection, which included works by Shakespeare, Milton, and Darwin, to the University of Chicago.
  • Rockefeller was also a major supporter of scientific research and established the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, which later became the Rockefeller University. He also provided funding for the research of many prominent scientists and helped to establish the field of modern molecular biology.
  • Despite his immense wealth and business success, Rockefeller was not immune to scandal and faced several legal challenges during his lifetime, including accusations of monopolistic practices and bribery.
  • He was a very private person, and his personal life was shrouded in mystery. He rarely gave interviews and was known to avoid publicity.

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