John D Rockefeller: a Positive Influence on American Industry?

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John D. Rockefeller Senior is one of the most famous industrialists to date. His fame is well deserved, through decades of hard work that brought prosperity to the American petroleum industry. Rockefeller has been called philanthropist, "great man" 1 "industrial statesman…, robber baron" , thief and other titles of both pleasant and unpleasant nature. His ways of conducting business brought him fame, fortune, and a lawsuit that broke up the Standard Oil Company. Despite these questionable business practices, John D. Rockefeller and the Standard Oil Company greatly contributed to the economy, and the well-being of the United States and its people. "The life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr., was marked to an exceptional degree by silence, mystery, and evasion."

John Davidson Rockefeller Senior was born in Richford, New York, on July 8, 1837. His parents were William Avery Rockefeller, and Eliza Davison Rockefeller.
William was a man of self expression; he was labeled by the town of Richford as "the town's richest man" , due to his almost limitless spending. He was also called the "most notable man of the community" . The family had basic comforts, but was not rich, as later clarified by Mary Ann Rockefeller, sister to John D. He also claimed that he was a doctor that could cure cancer; he disappeared from home for weeks, and he organized businesses which showed John from very early in his life how such things operate. William often loaned money to John, but kept the option to call it in at any time. This taught john that deficits and debts are very harmful to business and should be eliminated as soon as possible. John was very precise with his money throughout his entire life, which is one of the underlying reasons for his enormous success.
Eliza was a devout Baptist. She was disciplined and hard working. She and her religion taught John D. of philanthropy, and the need to accumulate money to use it for aid to the needy. She "encouraged the children to drop



Bibliography:  Montague, Gilbert H. The Rise and Progress of the Standard Oil Company. New York, 1903, 152 pp.  Rockefeller, John D. Sr. Random Reminiscences of Men and Events. New York, 1909, 188 pp.  Tarbell, Ida M. The History of the Standard Oil Company. New York, 1904, 262 pp.  Tarbell, Ida M. "John D. Rockefeller: A Character Study", McClure 's Magazine. (August, 1906) pp. 5-12.  Chernow, Ron. Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller Sr. New York, 1998, 774 pp.  D. C. Heath and Company, John D. Rockefeller Robber Baron or Industrial Statesman, Boston, 1949, 115 pp.  Goulder, Grace. John D. Rockefeller: The Cleveland Years. Cleveland, 1973, 271 pp.  Harr, John and Peter Johnson. The Rockefeller Century. New York, 1998, 621 pp.  Nevins, Allan John D. Rockefeller: The Heroic Age of American Enterprise. New York, 1940  Rather, Dan

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