Certainly one of the wealthiest Americans ever, John D. Rockefeller was the creator of the Standard Oil Company and, afterwards, a philanthropist whose wealth bankrolled the Rockefeller Foundation. Hard working and scrupulous, Rockefeller started out small and then made his fortune via hardnosed and occasionally controversial business tactics, which have since made him an entrepreneurial hero to some, a greedy fiend in the eyes of others.
He started in the oil business, and by the close of the century the Standard Oil Trust controlled so many other interests that it fell afoul of anti-trust laws. In 1911 the U.S. Supreme Court called Standard Oil a monopoly and compelled the Trust to separate into competing firms. By that time Rockefeller himself was no longer involved in running the business, having dedicated himself entirely to philanthropy since 1896. The Standard gave away millions to schools, health organizations and civic endeavors through the Rockefeller Foundation, which endures today. John D. Rockefeller gave away $540 million over his lifetime (in dollar terms of that time), and became the best lay benefactor of medicine in history.
Produced July 8, 1839 in Richford, New York, United States, died May 23, 1937 (aged 97).
John Davison Rockefeller, Sr. was an American business magnate and philanthropist. His net worth lands around $340 billion dollars, making him the wealthiest American of all time. Among the wealthiest Americans in history, John D. Rockefeller was the creator of the Standard Oil Company and, later, a philanthropist whose riches bankrolled the Rockefeller Foundation.
He began in the oil business, and by the conclusion of the century the Standard Oil Trust controlled so a great many other interests that it fell afoul of antitrust laws. In 1911 the U.S. Supreme Court called Standard Oil a monopoly and driven the Trust to divide into competing companies. By that time Rockefeller himself was no longer involved in running the company, having given himself fully to philanthropy since 1896. He gave away millions to schools, health organizations and civic projects through the Rockefeller Foundation, which endures today. John D. Rockefeller gave away $540 million over his lifetime (in dollar conditions of that time), and became the best lay benefactor of medicine in history. His bundle was primarily used to create the modern organized tactic of targeted philanthropy. He had been able to do this through the development of foundations that had a major influence on medicine, education and scientific research.
Rockefeller was likewise the founder of the University of Chicago and Rockefeller University and financed the institution of Central Philippine University in the Philippines. He was a devoted Northern Baptist and supported many church-based associations. Rockefeller stuck to complete abstinence from alcohol and tobacco throughout his life.
John Davison Rockefeller, Jr. (January 29, 1874 — May 11, 1960) was an American financier and philanthropist who was a leading member of the Rockefeller family. He was the only son among the five kids of Standard Oil co founder John D. Rockefeller and the daddy of the five renowned Rockefeller brothers. In biographies, he’s usually referred to as “Junior” to differentiate him from his daddy, “Senior”.
After graduation from Brown, Rockefeller, Jr. joined his dad’s company in October 1897, setting up operations in the newly formed family office at 26 Broadway where he became a director of Standard Oil. He later also became a director at J. P. Morgan’s U.S. Steel company, which had been formed in 1901. Junior resigned from both companies in 1910 in an effort to “purify” his ongoing philanthropy from commercial and financial interests following the Hearst media empire unearthed a bribery scandal involving John Dustin Archbold (the successor to Senior as head of Standard Oil) and two prominent members of Congress. In April 1914, after a very long amount of industrial unrest, the Ludlow Massacre happened in a coal mine run by the Colorado Fuel and Iron (CF&I) business. Junior owned a controlling interest in the company (40% of its stock) and sat on the board as an absentee manager. At least 20 men, women, and children perished in the event, as well as in January 1915 Junior was called to testify before the Commission on Industrial Relations. Many critics blamed Rockefeller for ordering the massacre. Margaret Sanger wrote an assault piece in her magazine The Woman Rebel declaring, “But remember Ludlow! Recall the men as well as women and children who have been given in order that John D. Rockefeller, Jr., might continue his noble career of charity and philanthropy as a patron of the Christian faith.” He was at the time being advised by William Lyon Mackenzie King and the innovator public relations specialist, Ivy Lee. Junior additionally only at that time met with all the union organizer, Mary Harris “Mother” Jones and declared fault in his testimony. Mackenzie King was afterwards to state that this testimony was the turning point in Junior’s life, restoring the standing of the family name; it also heralded a fresh age of industrial relations in the nation (see below). During the Great Depression he developed and was the sole financier of a vast office complex in midtown Manhattan, Rockefeller Center, and as a result became among the biggest real estate holders in Nyc. He was powerful in bringing leading blue chip corporations as tenants in the complex, including GE and its then affiliates RCA, NBC and RKO, along with Standard Oil of New Jersey (now ExxonMobil), Associated Press, Time Inc (now Time Warner), and branches of Chase National Bank (now JP Morgan Chase).