John D. Rockefeller PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 21 November 2008 10:13

John Davison Rockefeller

Born: July 8, 1839, Richford, New York, USA

Died: May 23, 1937, The Casements, Ormond Beach, Florida, USA

Age: 97

Cause of death:  Old age

Notable because: Pound for pound, the richest man in history. Accumulated an unprecedented fortune, ruining many lives in the process.


was an American industrialist and philanthropist. Rockefeller revolutionized the petroleum industry and defined the structure of modern philanthropy. In 1870, he founded the Standard Oil Company and ran it until he officially retired in 1897. Standard Oil began as an Ohio partnership formed by John D. Rockefeller, his brother William Rockefeller, Henry Flagler, chemist Samuel Andrews, and a silent partner Stephen V. Harkness. Rockefeller kept his stock and as gasoline grew in importance, his wealth soared and he became the world's richest man and first American billionaire, and is often regarded as the richest person in history.

Standard Oil was convicted in Federal Court of monopolistic practices and broken up in 1911. Rockefeller spent the last 40 years of his life in retirement. His fortune was mainly used to create the modern systematic approach of targeted philanthropy with foundations that had a major effect on medicine, education, and scientific research.

His foundations pioneered the development of medical research, and were instrumental in the eradication of hookworm and yellow fever. He is also the founder of both The University of Chicago and Rockefeller University. He was a devoted Northern Baptist and supported many church-based institutions throughout his life. Rockefeller adhered to total abstinence from alcohol and tobacco throughout his life.

He married Laura Celestia ("Cettie") Spelman in 1864. They had four daughters and one son; John D. Rockefeller, Jr. "Junior" was largely entrusted with the supervision of the foundations.



Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 December 2008 16:33

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