8 Interesting Facts About John D. Rockefeller
Around the early 19th century, there arose a tide in the petroleum industry that changed the face of the business. This tide was none other than the “oil magnate” John D. Rockefeller. Enlisted below are 8 interesting facts about John D. Rockefeller who was then regarded as the richest person in the world.
1. Rockefeller began with a meager income from a commission business that dealt with meat, grains, hay and other goods.
2. When he sensed the potential of the growing oil business, he built his first oil refinery in Cleveland, in circa 1863.
3. In 1870, Rockefeller incorporated the Standard Oil Company, which was to become the largest shipper of kerosene and oil in the USA.
4. Following Rockefeller’s tactful economic and business policies, Standard Oil became successful at absorbing nearly 22 out of 26 of its competitors in Cleveland in the initial years. Slowly and steadily, all his competitors gave in and either joined Rockefeller or ceded their business.
5. By the 1870s, Standard Oil held nearly 90% share in the oil refining industry of the US. This made Rockefeller a billionaire. He became the first American to be worth more than a billion dollars!
6. Disturbed by his rising status in the industry and his ruthless and aggressive competitive policies, the US government had to question Rockefeller and even had to come out with a law that was against monopoly. That did not deter Rockefeller’s aspirations. On the contrary, he came up with newer policies to tackle the law.
7. John D. Rockefeller abstained from alcohol and tobacco all his life. He saved most of his income and spent it on philanthropy. For this, he thanked his mother who taught him that “willful waste makes woeful want”.
8. Rockefeller was an great philanthropist. He was the person who revolutionized the modern concept of philanthropy. Through his foundations, he supported several colleges, universities and also sponsored medical research.
Photo Courtesy: The Rockefeller Archive Center