John D Rockefeller was one of the most influential businessmen of the 19th century. He started out in the oil business and quickly rose to the top, becoming one of the richest men in the world. But how did he get there?
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How Did John D Rockefeller Get Into the Oil Business?
John D Rockefeller was born in 1839 in Richford, New York. His father, William, was a con man and snake oil salesman. At the age of 16, John D Rockefeller left home to seek his fortune. He found work as a bookkeeper in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1862, he founded his own oil refinery. He soon became one of the richest men in America.
The Early Life of John D Rockefeller
John D Rockefeller was born in Richford, New York, on July 8, 1839. His father, William Rockefeller, was a peddler who later became a self-made millionaire investor and philanthropist. His mother, Eliza Davison Rockefeller, was a devout Baptist who helped instill her religious beliefs in her children. As a young boy, Rockefeller attended Fayetteville Academy and Owego Free Academy before eventually drop out to work full-time and help support his family.
Rockefeller’s first job was as an assistant bookkeeper at Hewitt & Tuttle, a produce commission firm in Cleveland, Ohio. He quickly began to take an interest in the shipping and refining of oil. In 1863, he partnered with Maurice B. Clark and Samuel Andrews to form their own oil refinery business called Clark & Rockefeller Refining Company. Later that same year, they brought onboard another partner named Henry M. Flagler and the company was renamed as Standard Oil Company.
Under Rockefeller’s direction, Standard Oil quickly became one of the largest oil refineries in the world. By 1870, it was producing 10% of the United States’ crude oil supply. In 1882, Standard Oil was forced to dissolve due to anti-trust laws; however, it reorganised as Standard Oil Trust with each shareholder receiving trust certificates for their shares. This legal manoeuvre allowed Standard Oil to operate even more effectively as a monopoly by consolidating its various companies under a single entity.
In 1901, Rockefeller retired from active involvement in business but continued to provide financial support for various philanthropic causes throughout his life including the establishment of the University of Chicago and the General Education Board (now part of The Rockefeller Foundation). He died on May 23, 1937 at age 97 from arteriosclerosis complicated by pneumonia.
The Oil Business
John D Rockefeller is one of the most famous names in American business. He is perhaps best known for his role in the oil industry, but he was also a philanthropist and a prominent figure in politics. So, how did Rockefeller get into the oil business?
Rockefeller was born in 1839 in Richford, New York. His family moved to Cleveland, Ohio when he was a young boy and it was there that he began his business career. Rockefeller started out working as a bookkeeper and then went on to become a commission merchant. In this role, he would buy products from farmers and sell them to retailers.
In 1862, Rockefeller partnered with Maurice Clark and Henry M Flagler to form the partnership Clark, Flagler & Company. The company focused on shipping grain on the new Erie Canal. However, Rockefeller soon recognized that oil was a much more profitable commodity than grain and so he began buying oil wells and refining oil. In 1870, he founded Standard Oil Company and within 10 years it had become the largest oil refiner in the world.
The Standard Oil Company
The Standard Oil Company was an American oil producing, transporting, refining, and marketing company. Established in 1870 by John D. Rockefeller as a corporation in Ohio, it was the largest oil refinery in the world of its time. Its controversial history as one of the world’s first and largest multinational corporations ended in 1911, when the U.S. Supreme Court ordered its dissolution into 34 smaller companies.
The Rockefellers and Oil
John D Rockefeller started out as a small-time merchant in Cleveland, Ohio, in the 1860s. He soon realized that the oil business was booming and decided to get into the game. He formed a partnership with a man named Henry Flagler and they began buying up small oil refineries. In 1870, they merged their operations into one company, Standard Oil.
Rockefeller quickly established himself as the head of Standard Oil, and he began using some controversial techniques to expand his business. He engaged in practices like secret rebates and price fixing, which allowed him to drive his competitors out of business. By 1880, Standard Oil controlled over 80% of the country’s oil production.
Rockefeller’s dominance of the oil industry made him one of the richest men in the world, and he used his wealth to philanthropy. He founded several major institutions, including the University of Chicago and the Rockefeller Foundation. He also helped finance the construction of New York City’s first subway system.
The Legacy of John D Rockefeller
The rise of John D Rockefeller and his oil business is one of the most fascinating stories in American history. Rockefeller was born in 1839 in Richford, New York, the second of six children. His father was a traveling salesman who struggled to make ends meet, and the family often moved from town to town. When Rockefeller was 16, his father suffered a financial setback and the family moved to Cleveland, Ohio.
Rockefeller worked hard to get ahead, first as a bookkeeper and then as a clerk in a commodities broker. He saved his money and by 1862 he had enough to start his own business. He partnered with Maurice Clark and Henry Flagler to form Standard Oil Company. The company quickly began to dominate the oil industry, and within 10 years it controlled 90% of all U.S. oil production.
Rockefeller was ruthless in business, and he soon became one of the richest men in the world. He retired from Standard Oil in 1897 and devoted his time to philanthropy. He founded the University of Chicago and gave away hundreds of millions of dollars to charities. He died in 1937 at the age of 97.