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John D. Rockefeller Biography

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John Davison Rockefeller Biography: Capitalist and Philanthropist
Famous for : Earning huge amounts of money from oil with his Standard Oil Company and for being a generous philanthropist.
Rockefeller details : Born - 8th of July, 1839 New York, USA / Died - 23rd of May, 1937 United States of America

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John D. Rockefeller Bio

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John D. Rockefeller is best known for his role in developing the modern oil industry as well as the structure of modern philanthropy and trusts. He founded Standard Oil Company and later became the richest man in the world and first American billionaire.

John Davison Rockefeller was born on July 8, 1939 in Richford, New York to William Avery and Eliza Davison. As the second of six children, Rockefeller grew up in a busy household with only his mother to watch over them most of the time while his father traveled on business. As a boy Rockefeller attended the Owego Academy until 1853 when his family moved to Strongsville near Cleveland, Ohio. Rockefeller attended high school in Cleveland and graduated at the age of sixteen. After only three months in commercial college, he took his first job at a produce commission house. It was at this job that Rockefeller learned the basics of business and management, skills that would later serve him when he started his first business at the age of nineteen.

The business was called Rockefeller and Clark and grossed over $450,000 in its first year of trading and, with the growing oil business and railroads destined for Cleveland, they set their sights high. The Civil War brought an oil strike to Pennsylvania, giving Rockefeller and Clark the incentive to branch out into the oil industry almost immediately. As a result, the two men took on a third partner, Samuel Andrews, a man with technical knowledge of the industry. Business grew fast and within a few years Clark was bought out of the company. The firm Rockefeller and Andrews quickly became the largest refinery in Cleveland.

John D. Rockefeller opened up a second refinery with his brother in 1865 by the name of Standard Works. The Standard Oil Company, Rockefeller's most famous company, was established just five years later in 1870 with the help of finances from S.V. Harkness and H.M. Flagler. Rockefeller, along with his brother and three partners, eventually bought out most of the Cleveland oil refineries at the time.

Believing that the oil business needed regulation and order, Rockefeller began investing in new forms of oil transportation like pipelines and railroad tanks. His management continued to improve his success and Rockefeller eventually acquired oil refineries in New York and Pennsylvania as well as the Mid West. Almost obsessive about complete order, Rockefeller built and purchased everything he needed for Standard Oil to function. The company eventually owned barrel making plants, ships, docking facilities, warehouses, and more.

Standard Oil's control over such a large part of the oil industry eventually led to a fight with the Pennsylvania Railroad who tried to break its hold on the market. The Railroad eventually failed in their fight but the battle gave Rockefeller the need to protect his company and his assets. In 1882 Rockefeller created the first "trust" in which he placed company acquisitions and money in the hands of Flagler and outside the control of the company. Flagler then became the "trustee". Eventually nine trustees were set in place to manage profits and stocks and, although the system came under attack in 1890 with the Sherman Antitrust Act, the idea and practice of trusts was kept in place and adopted by other organizations.

Although Rockefeller was scrutinized for his business practices, his trust development and philanthropy were well recognized by his peers as well as historians. Having grown up in a religious household, Rockefeller believed in giving ten percent of his income to charity. His original donations were handed over to the local church, but, once Rockefeller's wealth grew, he began looking for other worthy causes. He helped build hospitals, universities, and research facilities and eventually set up foundations and trusts to maintain the dispersal of his wealth. The Rockefeller Foundation was established in 1913 "to promote the wellbeing of mankind throughout the world." It's estimated that Rockefeller gave over $550 million to charities throughout the course of his life.

Despite his fortune, John D. Rockefeller lived simply, choosing to focus almost all of his energy on his work. He died on May 23, 1937 in Florida.



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John D. Rockefeller Quotes Famous John D. Rockefeller Quotes


Don't blame the marketing department. The buck stops with the chief executive.
John D. Rockefeller - Marketing - Responsibility - CEO - Blame

I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.
John D. Rockefeller - Perseverance
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John Davison Rockefeller Biography - Life


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