Published: 7-10-2011, 14:40

John D. Rockefeller (1839–1937) - American Education

Oil magnate whose personal fortune reached $1 billion and whose philanthropic contributions totaled about $550 million, of which 80% went to four organizations: the ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATION; the General Education Board, which promoted universal education in the South and improved the quality of black education; the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (now, ROCKEFELLER UNIVERSITY); and the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial, to promote worldwide child-welfare and socialscience studies. Born in Richford, New York, Rockefeller attended public school in Cleveland until he was 16, when he went to work as a bookkeeper. At the age of 23, in 1862, he went into partnership with Samuel Andrews, the inventor of an inexpensive oil refining process that helped the two men build the massive Standard Oil Co. By 1878, Rockefeller, at the age of 39, controlled 90% of the oil refineries in the United States and, soon after, all the distribution and marketing facilities as well. He retired in 1911 to devote the rest of his life to philanthropy. In that same year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Standard Oil Co. had violated antitrust regulations and ordered it split into the constituent corporations we know today.