The Inspiring Story Of John D. Rockefeller: The Richest American To Ever Existed


148 years ago, there lived an American who amassed massive wealth and became the richest US citizen to have ever lived. He was so rich that he could put modern day billionaires into shame – Well, a couple of them like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk can give him a run.

His name is John D. Rockefeller. He built his riches from scratch and became the wealthiest American to have ever lived during the prime of his career.

Not only was the name Rockefeller associated with riches alone, but he was known for his philanthropic causes. His generous act was rooted in him because of the difficult days he had experienced in his early life.

After careful research, Burbles Media presents to you the inspiring story of how John D. Rockefeller became the richest American to have ever lived.

The Humble Beginnings of John D. Rockefeller

Born John Davison Rockefeller Sr. in Richford, New York, in 1839, he was raised in an impoverished family of many siblings.

He grew up with his mother since his father was not always available due to work. This led him to take some odd jobs in order to support his mother in whichever way he could.

Having completed his schooling at the Central High School in Cleveland, he learnt his first professional skill, bookkeeping, at the Folsom Commercial College, where he also worked at the school canteen at the age of 14.

Getting Started With His Billion Dollar Career

John began his career when he was 16. Using his vocational bookkeeping skills , he became an assistant for a firm called Hewitt and Tuttle.

At this point, he was earning 50 cents and never deviated from being generous as he kept contributing part of his income to the less privileged.

John learned skills like negotiating shipping costs and understanding the financials behind transportation costs. When he had ample knowledge, he opened a produce business with his partner, Maurice B. Clerk.

Together they could make $4,000 as a profit, which is equivalent to $134,822 as per the current numbers.

The duo wanted to step up their game as they joined the two Clark brothers in building an oil refinery in Cleveland, Ohio. He soon became a successful entrepreneur in 1858 when there was a high demand for refined oil in the form of kerosene.

Rising To Success

Rockefeller’s brother, Williams Jr joined the business now called “Rockefeller and Andrews” when he built another refinery in 1866. And by 1867, it became the largest oil refinery on a global scale, which led to the foundation of the Standard Oil Company.

Subsequently, when the rate of oil supply became more demanding, he dissolved his partnership with Andrews and Flagler and instead opened his own, called Standard Oil of Ohio.

He soon became a millionaire following the operation of his company in different states and had about 41 smaller companies under the Standard Oil Trust.

Despite the fact that the mother companies were also divided into 34 smaller companies, Rockefeller still had 25% of Standard Oil’s stock. The split turned out to be a lucrative business for John, and his fortune rose to a whopping $900 million. Under John, Standard oil had over, 20,000 domestic wells, 4,000 miles of pipeline and 100,000 employees.

Philanthropy and Inheritance

Rockefeller died in 1960. 62 years ago. But many people have been curious to know what happened to his fortune after his demise. Well, most of his fortunes were donated to charity homes of his choice.

He is also the founder of Chicago University and Rockefeller University.

After donating half of his wealth to charity organizations, the other half was stored in trust funds that would provide for Rockefeller’s generation.

He gave his only son $460 million in 1917, which is equivalent to $9.3 billion if adjusted according to today’s inflation. A few years after John D. Rockefeller’s death, his son also put $1.4 billion dollars into six trust funds for his children.

He died two months before his birthday at the age of 97 due to arteriosclerosis.

With his numerous million dollar investments, John D. Rockefeller’s net worth was equivalent to an enormous sum of $340 billion at the time of his death, adjusted according to the current inflation rate.

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