John Davison Rockefeller is believed to be an economically prosperous person in modern history with a net worth of $900,000,000 during the early 1900s. He made this massive fortune by dominating the oil industry for a while. At a stage, his competitors accused him of maintaining his monopoly in the oil industry. On the other hand, he was a great philanthropist and donated a massive sum of money during his lifetime.
Please read this article as we’ve gathered some information about this business tycoon which you might not know about him.
John D. Rockefeller: 10 exciting facts about this business magnate
1. He used to celebrate his personal day as a holiday
According to historians, Rockefeller considered September 26, 1855, as the official day when he started his own business. Earlier, his family shifted to Ohio, and he soon got his first job at the age of 16 years at the office of a coal and grain supplier in Ohio. He celebrated this official day for when he started his business for his entire life, an interesting fact about John Rockefeller.
2. He had a craze to dominate the oil industry
John Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company used to control and dominate 90% oil refineries across the US. It is believed that he was against competition and used to buy smaller companies. On one occasion, he was quoted as saying to smaller companies that competition is a sin, and you have two options, either get ready to be consumed or compete with his corporation. His business model was based on modern monopoly.
Historians have claimed that an attempt was made to assassinate him for his family’s role in the Ludlow Massacre in Colorado.
3. Rockefeller hired a solder to replace him in the civil war
He was selected to serve the country in the 1863 Civil War, but he hired someone else to help in the union as a substitute. An interesting fact about John Rockefeller is that he did it because the US government allowed it. Rockefeller was 23 years old at that time, and nothing much has been written about the soldier who was offered as his substitute.
4. He donated to cure Hookworm disease
In the early 20th century, various areas of the US was struck with the deadly hookworm disease. It was so fatal that the larvae entered the bloodstream and infected the lungs before it settled in the intestines. The infected person showed signs of anemia and exhaustion. Rockefeller donated $1 million for cure and eradication of this disease through his The Rockefeller Sanitary Commission for the Eradication of Hookworm Disease.
The foundation took practical steps for its cure and launched a public awareness campaign for better sanitation and cleanliness.
5. Rockefeller used to give dimes to children and adults
He used to travel from his home to New York in his ferry through the Hudson River. Children used to welcome him, and typically, Rockefeller used to shake hand with children and give dimes to them. He was also famous for handing over dimes to adults.
6. Name of Spelman College is Derived from Rockefeller’s wife name
He used to give donations to various educational institutions across the US. In the year 1882, he donated money to a Baptist Seminary based in Atlanta. Later, the owner of the seminary changed the school name to honor Rockefeller’s wife and her parents, an interesting Rockefeller fact. Later in the year 1924, the College was renamed as Spelman College.
7. US Court ordered to break up Standard Oil Company into smaller companies
The US Supreme Court, after years of trial ruled in the year 1911, that the Standard Oil Company should be dismantled into 34 separate entities as the company violated anti-trust and federal laws. Eventually, the company broke into smaller companies, namely Amoco, Chevron, Conoco, and ExxonMobil.
The court ruling was devastating for Rockefeller, who still enjoyed shared in the company. It is estimated that the dismantled entities were more worthy, and their shares multiplied manifold in the years ahead. At that time, he became the first US business tycoon with a net worth of approximately 2 percent of the entire US economy.
8. Rockefeller family approached Churchill to write their biography
Sir Winston Churchill was the winner of the 1953 Nobel Prize for his services for Literature. He authored around 42 books during his lifetime, and besides being a great orator, he was a prolific writer as well. During the early 1930s, the Rockefeller family contacted the future British Prime Minister to draft their family autobiography. Churchill demanded an upfront of $250,000 for this job to which the Rockefellers turned down and selected Allan Nevins, a historian from Columbia University, to write the autobiography, an interesting fact about John Rockefeller.
9. He suffered hair loss
When Rockefeller was 40 years old, he started to lose his hair from his head, body, and elsewhere. It is believed that he suffered from alopecia as a result of which he never got his hair back.
He died on May 23, 1937, and at that time, he was 97 years old. When he turned 96, the insurance company paid him $5 million of his insurance policy.
10. Rockefeller father was an artist
William Avery Rockefeller, the father of the multi-billionaire John Rockefeller, was a salesman of herbal medicines and several other products, including snake oil. He raised kids with his wife and the housekeeper. Reportedly, his father was a fake doctor as well, who lived a double life as Dr. William Levingston. According to historians, in the year 1855, he secretly contracted a second marriage.
So, readers, this was some important information about this business magnate. He took effective steps for revolutionizing the oil industry and reducing the production cost of oil. Author Ida Tarbell greatly criticized him for monopoly in the oil industry and violating the federal laws. The downfall of Standard Oil was caused due to Ida Tarbell when the Supreme Court took note and ordered dismantling the Rockefeller Corporation into smaller entities.
He was the founder of Rockefeller University and the University of Chicago. Furthermore, he also funded the establishment of Central Philippine University in the state of the Philippines. He spent the last years of his life in philanthropic efforts.
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