John D. Rockefeller
John D. Rockefeller did not start out rich, but he became one of the wealthiest men in the world. He was born into a family of modest income in 1839. The family, with its six children, moved from one farm to another in Pennsylvania, and then settled in Ohio.
Rockefeller left high school in 1855 to take a six-month business course, which he completed in three months. He then took a job where he earned $3.57 a week. He did not even get paid for three months. But by 1859, he had saved $1000. He borrowed another $1000 from his father. What do you think he did with that money? Rockefeller used the $2000 as a seed to grow a huge, multimillion dollar fortune.
That year oil was discovered in western Pennsylvania. Rockefeller and a business partner became oil refiners. From this small start, grew the Standard Oil Company. By the 1890s, Standard Oil owned three-quarters of the oil industry in the United States. Rockefeller was not only head of this huge company, he
also owned iron mines, forests, and shares in manufacturing and transportation companies. The problem was, his wealth and power grew through unfair methodsbribery, intimidation, and bullying all his competitors out of business. In 1911, as a result of Ida Tarbell's articles about Standard Oil Company, the Supreme Court ordered the company dissolved.
Rockefeller was one of the richest men in the world, and to those who read the muckraking articles, he seemed like a monster. But he gave away most of his fortune in ways carefully designed to do the most good. As a child he learned to share his income with the church and charity, and he continued to do this all his life. With his son, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. he established many institutions to benefit science, medicine, education, and the arts. On a personal level, he delighted in handing out dimes to children he met.
Rockefeller died in 1937, at the age of 97. Why don't you do some investigating to find out how he lives on through the many charitable and humanitarian organizations that he started?
Category: Personal Finance