Rockefeller, John D.

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Related to John D. Rockefeller: Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt

Rockefeller, John D. (Davison)

(1839–1937) industrialist, philanthropist; born in Richford, N.Y. After only two years of high school, he went to work in 1855 in Cleveland, Ohio, as a bookkeeper for a small food firm. In 1859 he formed Clark & Rockefeller, a food handling firm that prospered during the Civil War. Deeply religious, he began his philanthropies by giving ten percent of his earnings to churches. In 1863 he entered the brand new oil business by settling up a refinery in Cleveland; by 1870 he had expanded to the extent that he formed the Standard Oil Company of Ohio. By 1878 his company dominated the piping, refining, and marketing of American petroleum; it would soon be a major player in the world markets. His monopolistic tendencies led to a famous federal lawsuit (1890–92), whereupon he dissolved the Standard Oil "trust" and transferred control to companies in different states. He maintained control through Standard Oil (New Jersey) until a 1911 Supreme Court decision forced its dissolution and his retirement. By this time Rockefeller had, since the late 1890s, been increasingly less involved with the business and more engaged in his philanthropic activities. His benefactions during his lifetime reached some $550 million and included especially the Baptist Church, the YMCA, the University of Chicago, and the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (since 1953 Rockefeller University). He also established the Rockefeller Foundation (1913), which remained the principal disburser of the estate's fortune in ensuing decades. A legend in his own lifetime, for some he remained the supreme American success story, for others he was the symbol of unrestrained capitalism.
References in periodicals archive ?
John D. Rockefeller (1839-19.37), the recognized patriarch of the Rockefeller family that grew to prominence over the course of a century and half, both through its business interests and its massive philanthropic efforts, was not born to great wealth.
"Part of John D. Rockefeller's genius was in recognizing early the need and opportunity for a transition to a better, cheaper and cleaner fuel."
The trustees worried about the reaction from the Rockefeller family--the Rockefellers helped found the museum, and John D. Rockefeller's wife was its treasurer at the time--and they moved to cancel the exhibit.
Once one of the most famous addresses in the world, the building housed the offices of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company from 1883 to 1897.
(40.) On John D. Rockefeller, Jr., see Ron Chernow, Titan: The Life of John D.
The two recent biographies are Morgan: American Financier, by Jean Strouse, and Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller Sr.
Everyone concerned with this issue and this case should read Titan, the new biography on the life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr., by Ron Chernow.
The survey by American Heritage, a magazine published by Forbes, found that the great titans of American industry John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt and John Jacob Astor had amassed far greater wealth in relative terms.
After minions of John D. Rockefeller caused state troopers in Colorado to incinerate striking miners, their wives and their children in the Ludlow massacre of 1914 (soaking their tents in oil, then setting them on fire), Rockefeller hired a journalist, Ivy Lee, at $1,000 a month, to improve his abysmal public standing.
Roosevelt, beginning a long tradition of White House support, endorsed the organization; John D. Rockefeller Jr.
In The Rockefellers (1976), they showed how the great-grandchildren of John D. Rockefeller grew up to be wildly different from their patriarch and from one another, despite the strong efforts of that family's infrastructure to imprint them with common values, manners, and goals.
He not only adds substantially to our knowledge of the infamous Ludlow, Colorado, massacre" of 20 April 1914, but he also supplies much new information concerning how the Canadian politician and social reformer, Mackenzie King, and John D. Rockefeller, jr., sought to refashion the practice of industrial relations in America's largest corporate enterprises.