J.D. Rockefeller
By: Michaela Swink
Early Life
• Born- July 8, 1839 in Richford, New York
• Second of six children
• His father owned farm property and traded in
many goods, including lumber and patent
medicines (traveling salesman)
• Stay at home mom
• Received unusually good education for the
time period
Early Life Cnt.
• His mother was very religious and very
disciplined. She taught John to work, to save,
and to give to charities
• In school, John was very good at math
• Found work as a produce clerk at age 16
• Formed a partnership at age 19
Early Business
• Formed a partnership with a neighbor,
Maurice Clark. Each man put up $2000 and
formed Clark & Rockefeller
• They were commission merchants in grain,
hay, meats, and miscellaneous goods.
• The commission merchant business was very
competitive and Clark & Rockefeller’s success
was due in large part to Rockefeller’s natural
business abilities
Big Business
• During the Civil War Rockefeller branched out into oil refining
with Samuel Andrews
• Within two years Rockefeller became senior partner; Clark
was bought out, and the firm Rockefeller and Andrews
became Cleveland's largest refinery
• Rockefeller survived the bitter competition in the oil industry.
• The Standard Oil Company was formed by Rockefeller, his
brother, and Andrews
• Standard Oil controlled one-tenth of American refining, the
competition remained
• By 1879 he was refining 90 percent of American oil
Big Business Cnt.
• Standard Oil was stationed in Cleveland, Ohio
• Built his business around horizontal integrationbuying all like-minded businesses
• He used secret rebates in order to cheaply transport
his oil which was later broken up by the Antitrust Act
in 1892
• Rockefeller understood that the only way to make
profits consistently in oil refining was to make the
business as large as possible and to utilize all their
"waste" products.
• When he retired he established and gave money
towards universities and education
• The University of Chicago was his first major
philanthropic creation
• He also helped set up many foundations
• When he died, he had given most of his weath to
his son
• Through Rockefeller's foundation, more wealth
has been dispersed than Rockefeller personally
earned during his lifetime
[Political Cartoon]
With a globe in hand and a crown on
his head, Rockefeller is pictured as
king of the world and in complete
control because of his Standard Oil.
The lamp in his hand signifies the oil
that was produced for people to light
up their homes.
By sitting on top of the oil barrel,
Rockefeller is depicted as crushing all
the other companies with his
powerful monopoly.
Being on top of what he controls also
shows the monopoly in Standard Oil.
Work Cited
"American Experience The Rockefellers People & Events." PBS: Public Broadcasting
Service. Web. 03 Feb. 2012.
"J.D. Rockefeller: From Oil Baron To Billionaire." Investopedia – The Web’s Largest
Investing Resource. Web. 03 Feb. 2012.
"John D Rockefeller Biography - Facts, Birthday, Life Story -“
Famous Biographies & TV Shows - Web. 03 Feb. 2012.
"John D. Rockefeller Biography - Life, Family, Childhood, Children, Wife, School,
Mother, Young, Information, Born." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Web.
03 Feb. 2012. <
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