How Greedy Can One Man Be

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How greedy can one man be? You would think that once you put four of your competitors out of business that would be enough. Not. Or maybe enough is when your business has monopolized and you control the industry throughout the United States. Not. Enough was enough for John D. Rockefeller when his business turned into a trust and it was able to fix its own prices and had no other competitors. Although Rockefeller was greedy, he was a philanthropist. How ironic.

John Davidson Rockefeller was born on July 8, 1838 on a farm in Richmond, New York. He is the second of six children born to William Avery and Eliza Davidson Rockefeller. Rockefeller’s father traveled and was gone for months at a time and his up bring fell mainly on his mother. The Rockefeller family moved to Ohio in 1853. Rockefeller attended Cleveland Central High School. In 1855, Rockefeller left high school to take a six- month business course at Folsom Mercantile College. After completing the course he was employed with the Hewitt and Tuttle as an assistant bookkeeper.

Rockefeller saved all the money he could and, in 1859, he entered into business for himself, forming a partnership with Maurice Clark. They formed Clark& Rockefeller Produce and Commission, which sold farm implements, fertilizers, and household goods. Due to Rockefeller’s natural abilities, Clark & Rockefeller became very successful. Although Rockefeller’s company was very successful, it did not bring him the wealth he desired.

In 1862, Rockefeller heard that Samuel Andrews had developed a better and cheaper way of refining crude petroleum. At this time, Cleveland became a major refining center for the booming new oil industry. Rockefeller sold his original business. In 1870, Rockefeller organized The Standard Oil Company. Rockefeller felt the state of the oil business was in disarray. The market was glutted with oil and entry costs were low. Rockefeller’s solution to the problem was one large company....
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