John Davison Rockefeller
(July 8, 1839 – May 23, 1937) was an American
Rockefeller revolutionized the petroleum industry
and defined the
structure of modern philanthropy
1870, he founded the Standard Oil
Company and aggressively ran it until he officially retired in
1897. Standard Oil began as an Ohio partnership
formed by John D.
Rockefeller, his brother William Rockefeller
, Henry Flagler
, chemist Samuel Andrews
, and a silent partner
, Stephen V. Harkness
. As kerosene and gasoline grew
in importance, Rockefeller's wealth soared, and he became the
world's richest man and first American billionaire
. He is often regarded as the richest
person in history.
Standard Oil was convicted in Federal Court
practices and broken up in 1911. Rockefeller spent the last 40
years of his life in retirement. His fortune was mainly used to
create the modern systematic approach of targeted philanthropy with
foundations that had a major effect on medicine, education, and
His foundations pioneered the development of medical research, and
were instrumental in the eradication of hookworm
. He is also the founder of both the University
of Chicago and Rockefeller University.
He was a devoted Northern Baptist
many church-based institutions throughout his life. Rockefeller
adhered to total abstinence from alcohol and tobacco throughout his
He had four daughters and one son; John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
largely entrusted with the supervision of the foundations.
Early life and business career
Rockefeller was the second of six children
born in Richford, New
York, to William
Avery Rockefeller (November 13, 1810–May 11, 1906) and Eliza
Davison (September 12, 1813–March 28, 1889). Genealogists trace his
roots back to French Huguenots who later
fled to Germany in the
His father, first a lumberman, then a traveling salesman
, billed himself as a
“botanic physician” and sold dubious elixirs. The locals referred
to the mysterious but fun-loving man as "Big Bill," and "Devil
Bill".He was a sworn foe of conventional morality who had opted for
a vagabond existence and who returned to his family infrequently.
Throughout his life, William Avery Rockefeller expended
considerable energy on tricks and schemes and avoided plain hard
work.Eliza, a homemaker and devout Baptist, struggled to maintain a
semblance of stability at home as William was frequently gone for
extended periods. She also put up with his philandering and his
double life, which included bigamy. Thrifty by nature and by
necessity, she taught her son that "willful waste makes woeful
want". Young Rockefeller did his share of the regular household
chores, and earned extra money raising turkeys, selling potatoes
and candy, and eventually loaning small sums of money to neighbors.
He followed his father’s advice to "trade dishes for platters" and
thereby always get the better part of any deal. Big Bill once
bragged, "I cheat my boys every chance I get. I want to make ‘em
In spite of his father’s absences and frequent moving, Young
Rockefeller was a well-behaved, serious and studious boy. His
contemporaries described him as reserved, earnest, religious,
methodical, and discreet. He was an excellent debater, and
expressed himself precisely. He also had a deep love of music, and
even dreamed of it as a possible career. Early on, he displayed an
excellent mind for numbers and detailed accounting.
When he was a boy, his family moved to Moravia, New York
and, in 1851, to
, New York, where he attended Owego
Academy. In 1853, his family bought a house in
Strongsville, a suburb of Cleveland.
In September 1855, when Rockefeller was
sixteen he got his first job as an assistant bookkeeper
, working for a small produce
commission firm called "Hewitt & Tuttle". Though he worked long
and hard hours, he delighted, as he later recalled, in “all the
methods and systems of the office”. He was particularly adept at
calculating transportation costs, which served him well later in
his career. The full salary for his first three months' work was
$50 (50 cents a day). Almost from his first pay, he displayed a
philanthropic verve, donating about 6% of his earnings to charity,
which increased to 10% by the age of twenty.
In 1859, Rockefeller went into the produce commission business with
a partner, Maurice B. Clark
, and they raised $4,000 in capital.
Thrilled to be his own employer, Rockefeller went steadily ahead in
business from there, never having a losing year during the rest of
his career. They began their trade in wholesale foodstuffs but then
built an oil refinery
in 1863 in "The
Flats", then Cleveland's burgeoning industrial area. The refinery
was directly owned by Andrews, Clark & Company, which was
composed of Clark & Rockefeller, chemist Samuel Andrews, and M.
B. Clark's two brothers. The commercial oil business was in its
infancy. Whale oil had become too expensive for the masses, and a
cheaper, general-purpose illuminant was desperately needed.
While his brother Frank fought in the Civil War, Rockefeller tended
to his thriving business and hired substitute soldiers to fight in
his place. He also gave money to the Union cause, as did many rich
Northerners who avoided combat. In February 1865, in what was later
described by oil industry historian Daniel
as a "critical" action, Rockefeller bought out the Clark
brothers for $72,500 at auction, and established the firm of
Rockefeller & Andrews. Rockefeller himself said, "it was the
day that determined my career." Rockefeller was now well-positioned
to take advantage of post-war prosperity and the great expansion
westward fostered by the growth of railroads and an oil-fueled
economy. He borrowed astutely and heavily, reinvested profits,
adapted rapidly to changing markets, and fielded observers to keep
a watchful eye over the quickly expanding industry.
In 1864, Rockefeller married Laura Celestia "Cettie" Spelman
They would have four daughters and one son. He admitted later, "Her
judgment was always better than mine. Without her keen advice, I
would be a poor man." He became a lifelong member of the then new
Republican Party, and a strong supporter of Lincoln and the party’s
abolitionist wing. He also became a faithful church go-er, taught
Sunday school, and was a trustee, clerk, and occasional janitor for
the modest Erie Street Baptist mission church. Religion would
continue to be a guiding force throughout his life and Rockefeller
believed it to be the source of his success. As he bluntly stated
later, "God gave me money", and he felt no apology was necessary
for how he acquired it. He felt entirely at ease and righteous
following John Wesley
’s dictum, "gain
all you can, save all you can, and give all you can."In 1866, John
D. Rockefeller's brother, William, built another refinery in
Cleveland and John was brought into the partnership. In 1867,
Henry M. Flagler
became a partner, and the firm of
was established. By 1868, with Rockefeller continuing to
borrow heavily and reinvest most of the profits while controlling
cost and utilizing his refineries' waste, the company owned two
Cleveland refineries and a marketing subsidiary in New York, and it was the largest oil refinery in the
Rockefeller, Andrews & Flagler was the
predecessor of the Standard Oil Company.
By the end
of the American Civil War,
Cleveland was one of the five main refining centers in the
U.S. (besides Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New
York, and the region in northwestern Pennsylvania where most of the oil originated).
1870, Rockefeller formed Standard Oil of Ohio, which rapidly became
the most profitable refiner in Ohio. Standard Oil grew to become
one of the largest shippers of oil and kerosene in the country. The
railroads were fighting fiercely for traffic and, in an attempt to
create a cartel
to control freight rates,
formed the South Improvement
, in collusion with Standard and other oil men outside
the main oil centers. The cartel received preferential treatment as
a high-volume shipper, which included not just steep rebates of up
to 50% for their product, but also rebates for the shipment of
competing products. Part of this scheme was the announcement of
sharply increased freight charges. This touched off a firestorm of
protest from independent oil well owners, including boycotts and
vandalism, which eventually led to the discovery of Standard Oil's
part in the deal. A major New York refiner, Charles Pratt and Company
by Charles Pratt
and Henry H. Rogers
, led the opposition to this plan, and
railroads soon backed off. Pennsylvania revoked the cartel’s
charter and equal rates were restored for the time being.
Undeterred, though vilified for the first time by the press,
Rockefeller continued with his self-reinforcing cycle of buying
competing refiners, improving the efficiency of his operations,
pressing for discounts on oil shipments, undercutting his
competition, making secret deals, raising investment pools, and
buying rivals out. In less than four months in 1872, in what was
later known as the "Cleveland Conquest" or "Cleveland Massacre",
Standard Oil had absorbed 22 of its 26 Cleveland competitors.
Eventually, even his former antagonists, Pratt and Rogers, saw the
futility of continuing to compete against Standard Oil: in 1874,
they made a secret agreement with their old nemesis to be acquired.
Pratt and Rogers became Rockefeller's partners. Rogers, in
particular, became one of Rockefeller's key men in the formation of
the Standard Oil Trust. Pratt's son, Charles Millard Pratt became
Secretary of Standard Oil.For many of his competitors, Rockefeller
had merely to show them his books so they could see what they were
up against, then make them a decent offer. If they refused his
offer, he told them he would run them into bankruptcy, then cheaply
buy up their assets at auction. He saw himself as the industry’s
savior, "an angel of mercy", absorbing the weak and making the
industry as a whole stronger, more efficient, and more competitive.
Standard was growing horizontally and vertically. It added its own
pipelines, tank cars, and home delivery network. It kept oil prices
low to stave off competitors, made its products affordable to the
average household, and to increase market penetration, sometimes
sold below cost if necessary. It developed over 300 oil-based
products from tar to paint to Vaseline to chewing gum. By the end
of the 1870’s, Standard was refining over 90% of the oil in the
U.S. Rockefeller had already become a millionaire.
Standard Oil Trust Certificate
In 1877, Standard clashed with the Pennsylvania Railroad, its chief
hauler. Rockefeller had envisioned the use of pipelines as an
alternative transport system for oil and began a campaign to build
and acquire them. The railroad, seeing Standard’s incursion into
the transportation and pipeline fields, struck back and formed a
subsidiary to buy and build oil refineries and pipelines. Standard
countered and held back its shipments, and with the help of other
railroads, started a price war that dramatically reduced freight
payments and caused labor unrest as well. Rockefeller eventually
prevailed and the railroad sold all its oil interests to Standard.
But in the aftermath of that battle, in 1879 the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania indicted Rockefeller on charges of monopolizing the
oil trade, starting an avalanche of similar court proceedings in
other states and making a national issue of Standard Oil’s business
Standard Oil gradually gained almost complete control of oil
refining and marketing in the United States through horizontal integration
. In the
kerosene industry, Standard Oil ruthlessly replaced the old
distribution system with its own vertical system. It supplied
kerosene by tank cars that brought the fuel to local markets and
tank wagons then delivered to retail customers, thus bypassing the
existing network of wholesale jobbers. Despite improving the
quality and availability of kerosene products while greatly
reducing their cost to the public (the price of kerosene dropped by
nearly 80% over the life of the company), Standard Oil's business
practices created intense controversy. Standard’s most potent
weapons against competition were underselling, differential
pricing, and secret transportation rebates. The firm was attacked
by journalists and politicians throughout its existence, in part
for these monopolistic
momentum to the anti-trust
1880, according to the New York World, Standard Oil was "the most
cruel, impudent, pitiless, and grasping monopoly that ever fastened
upon a country." To the critics Rockefeller blandly replied, "In a
business so large as ours…some things are likely to be done which
we cannot approve. We correct them as soon as they come to our
At that time, many legislatures had made it difficult to
incorporate in one state and operate in another. As a result,
Rockefeller and his associates owned separate corporations across
dozens of states, making their management of the whole enterprise
rather unwieldy. In 1882, Rockefeller's lawyers created an
innovative form of corporation to centralize their holdings, giving
birth to the Standard Oil Trust
" was a corporation
of corporations, and the entity's size and wealth drew much
attention. Nine trustees, including Rockefeller, ran the 41
companies in the trust. The public and the press were immediately
suspicious of this new legal entity, but other businesses seized
upon the idea and emulated it, further inflaming public sentiment.
Standard Oil had gained an aura of invincibility, always prevailing
against competitors, critics, and political enemies. It had become
the richest, biggest, most feared business in the world, seemingly
immune to the boom and bust of the business cycle, consistently
racking up profits year after year.
Its vast American empire included 20,000 domestic wells, 4,000
miles of pipeline, 5,000 tank cars, and over 100,000 employees. Its
share of world oil refining topped out above 90% but slowly dropped
to about 80% for the rest of the century. Ironically, in spite of
the formation of the trust and its perceived immunity from all
competition, by the 1880’s Standard Oil had passed its peak of
power over the world oil market. Rockefeller finally gave up his
dream of controlling all the world’s oil refining, he admitted
later, “We realized that public sentiment would be against us if we
actually refined all the oil.” In reality, foreign competition and
new finds abroad eroded his dominance. In the early 1880’s,
Rockefeller created one of his most important innovations. Rather
than try to influence the price of crude oil directly, Standard Oil
had been exercising indirect control by altering oil storage
charges to suit market conditions. Rockefeller then decided to
order the issuance of certificates against oil stored in its
pipelines. These certificates became traded by speculators, thus
creating the first oil-futures market which effectively set spot
market prices from then on. The National Petroleum Exchange opened
in Manhattan in late 1882 to facilitate the oil futures
Even though 85% of world crude production was still coming from
Pennsylvania wells in the 1880’s, overseas drilling in Russia and
Asia began to reach the world market. Robert Nobel had established
his own refining enterprise in the abundant and cheaper Russian oil
fields, including the region’s first pipeline and the world’s first
oil tanker. The Paris Rothschilds jumped into the fray providing
financing. Additional fields were discovered in Burma and Java.
Even more critical, the invention of the light bulb gradually began
to erode the dominance of kerosene for illumination. But Standard
Oil adapted, developing its own European presence, expanding into
natural gas production in the U.S. then into gasoline for
automobiles, which until then had been considered a waste
Standard Oil moved its headquarters to New York City at 26 Broadway
and Rockefeller became a central figure in the city’s business
community. He bought a personal residence in 1884 on 54th street
near the mansions of other magnates such as William Vanderbilt
. Despite personal
threats and constant pleas for charity, Rockefeller took the new
elevated train to his downtown office daily. In 1877, Congress
created the Interstate
which was tasked with enforcing equal rates
for all railroad freight, but by then Standard was depending more
on pipeline transport. More threatening to Standard’s power was the
Sherman Antitrust Act
originally used to control unions, but later central to the breakup
of the Standard Oil trust. Ohio was especially vigorous in applying
its state anti-trust laws, and finally forced a separation of
Standard Oil of Ohio from the rest of the company in 1892, the
first step in the dissolution of the trust.
In the 1890’s, Rockefeller expanded into iron ore and ore
transportation, forcing a collision with steel magnate Andrew Carnegie
, and their competition
became a major subject of the newspapers and the cartoonists.
Rockefeller also went on a massive buying spree acquiring land for
crude oil production in Ohio, Indiana, and West Virginia, as the
original Pennsylvania oil fields began to play out. Amidst the
frenetic expansion, Rockefeller began to think of retirement. The
daily management of the trust was turned over to John D. Archbold
and Rockefeller bought a new estate, Pocantico Hills
, north of New York City,
turning more time to leisure activities including the new sports of
bicycling and golf.
Upon his ascent to the presidency, Theodore Roosevelt initiated
dozens of suits under the Sherman Antitrust Act and coaxed reforms
out of Congress. In 1901, U.S. Steel, now controlled by J. Pierpont
, having bought Andrew Carnegie’s steel assets, offered
to buy Standard’s iron interests as well. A deal brokered by
Henry Clay Frick
Standard’s iron interests for U.S. Steel stock and gave Rockefeller
and his son membership on the company’s board of directors. In full
retirement at age 63, Rockefeller earned over $58 million in
investments in 1902.
One of the most effective attacks on Rockefeller and his firm was
the 1904 publication of The History of the
Standard Oil Company,
, a leading muckraker
documented the company’s espionage, price wars, heavy-handed
marketing tactics, and courtroom evasions. Although her work
prompted a huge backlash against the company, Tarbell claims to
have been surprised at its magnitude. “I never had an animus
against their size and wealth, never objected to their corporate
form. I was willing that they should combine and grow as big and
wealthy as they could, but only by legitimate means. But they had
never played fair, and that ruined their greatness for me.”
(Tarbell's father had been driven out of the oil business during
the South Improvement
Rockefeller responded by calling her “Miss Tarbarrel” in private
but held back in public saying only, “not a word about that
misguided woman.” Instead Rockefeller began a publicity campaign to
put his company and himself in a better light. Though he had long
maintained a policy of active silence with the press, he decided to
make himself more accessible and responded with conciliatory
comments such as, “capital and labor are both wild forces which
require intelligent legislation to hold them in restriction.” He
wrote and published his memoirs beginning in 1908.
Rockefeller as an industrial emperor, 1901 cartoon from
Critics found his writing to be sanitized and disingenuous and
thought that statements such as “the underlying, essential element
of success in business is to follow the established laws of
high-class dealing” seemed to be at odds with his true business
Rockefeller and his son continued to consolidate their oil
interests as best as they could until New Jersey, in 1909, changed
its incorporation laws to effectively allow a re-creation of the
trust in the form of a single holding
. Rockefeller retained his nominal title as president
until 1911 and he kept his stock. At last in 1911, the Supreme
Court of the United States found Standard Oil Company of New
Jersey in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.
the trust still had a 70% market share of the refined oil market
but only 14% of the U.S. crude oil supply. The court ruled that the
trust originated in illegal monopoly
practices and ordered it to be broken up into 34 new companies.
These included, among many others, Continental Oil, which became
, now part of ConocoPhillips
; Standard of Indiana, which
, now part of BP
; Standard of California, which became Chevron
; Standard of New Jersey, which
(and later, Exxon
), now part of ExxonMobil
; Standard of New York, which became
, now part of ExxonMobil; and Standard of
Ohio, which became Sohio
, now part of BP.
Pennzoil and Chevron have remained independent.
Rockefeller, who had rarely sold shares, held over 25% of
Standard’s stock at the time of the breakup. He, as well as all
stockholders, received proportionate shares in each of the 34
companies. In the aftermath, Rockefeller’s control over the oil
industry was somewhat reduced but over the next ten years, the
breakup also proved immensely profitable for him. The companies’
combined net worth rose fivefold and Rockefeller’s personal wealth
jumped to $900,000,000.
From his very first paycheck, Rockefeller tithed
ten percent of his earnings to his church. As
his wealth grew, so did his giving, primarily to educational and
public health causes, but also for basic science and the arts. He
was advised primarily by Frederick
after 1891, and,
after 1897, also by his son.
Rockefeller believed in the Efficiency Movement
, arguing that
- "To help an inefficient, ill-located, unnecessary school is a
waste...it is highly probable that enough money has been squandered
on unwise educational projects to have built up a national system
of higher education adequate to our needs, if the money had been
properly directed to that end."
He and his advisers invented the conditional grant that required
the recipient to "root the institution in the affections of as many
people as possible who, as contributors, become personally
concerned, and thereafter may be counted on to give to the
institution their watchful interest and cooperation."
In 1884, he provided major funding for a college in Atlanta for
African-American women that became Spelman College
(named for Rockefeller's
in-laws who were ardent abolitionist
before the Civil War). The oldest existing building on Spelman's
campus, Rockefeller Hall, is named after him. Rockefeller also gave
considerable donations to Denison
and other Baptist colleges.
Rockefeller gave $80 million to the University of
Chicago under William
Rainey Harper, turning a small Baptist college into a
world-class institution by 1900.
His General Education Board
, founded in
1902, was established to promote education at all levels everywhere
in the country. It was especially active in supporting black
schools in the South. Its most dramatic impact came by funding the
recommendations of the Flexner Report
of 1910, which had been funded by the Carnegie
Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
; it revolutionized
the study of medicine in the United States. Rockefeller also
provided financial support to Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Brown, Bryn
Mawr, Wellesley and Vassar.
Despite his personal preference for homeopathy
, Rockefeller, on Gates's advice,
became one of the first great benefactors of medical science
. In 1901, he founded
Institute for Medical Research in New York. It changed its name to Rockefeller
University in 1965, after expanding its mission to include
It claims a connection to 23 Nobel
laureates. He founded the Rockefeller Sanitary Commission in 1909,
an organization that eventually eradicated the hookworm
disease that had long plagued the American
South. The Rockefeller
was created in 1913 to continue and expand the scope
of the work of the Sanitary Commission, which was closed in 1915.
He gave nearly $250 million to the foundation, which focused on
public health, medical training, and the arts. It endowed Johns Hopkins
School of Hygiene and Public Health
, the first of its kind. It
built the Peking Union
into a great institution, helped in World War I
war relief, and it employed William Lyon Mackenzie King
Canada to study industrial relations. Rockefeller's fourth main
philanthropy, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Foundation,
created in 1918, supported work in the social studies; it was later
absorbed into the Rockefeller Foundation. However, all told,
Rockefeller gave away about $550 million.
Oddly enough, Rockefeller became well known in his later life for
the practice of giving dimes to adults and nickels to children
wherever he went. He even gave dimes as a playful gesture to men
like tire mogul Harvey
As a youth, Rockefeller allegedly said that his two great ambitions
were to make $100,000 and to live 100 years. Rockefeller died of
arteriosclerosis on May 23, 1937,
two months shy of his 98th birthday, at the Casements, his home in Ormond Beach, Florida. He was buried in Lake View
Cemetery in Cleveland.
Rockefeller had a long and controversial career in the industry
followed by a long career in philanthropy. His image is an amalgam
of all of these experiences
and the many ways he was viewed by his contemporaries. These
contemporaries include his former competitors, many of whom were
driven to ruin, but many others of whom sold out at a profit (or a
profitable stake in Standard Oil, as Rockefeller often offered his
shares as payment for a business), and quite a few of whom became
very wealthy as managers as well as owners in Standard Oil. They
also include politicians and writers, some of whom served
Rockefeller's interests, and some of whom built their careers by
fighting Rockefeller and the "robber baron
Biographer Allan Nevins
Rockefeller's enemies, concluded:
Biographer Ron Chernow
Notwithstanding these varied aspects of his public life,
Rockefeller may ultimately be remembered simply for the raw size of
his wealth. In 1902, an audit showed Rockefeller was worth about
$200 million—compared to the total national GDP of $24 billion
then. His wealth continued to grow significantly (in line with U.S.
economic growth) after as the demand for gasoline soared,
eventually reaching about $900 million on the eve of the First World War
, including significant interests
in banking, shipping, mining, railroads, and other industries.
According to the New York Times
obituary, “it was estimated after Mr. Rockefeller retired from
business that he had accumulated close to $1,500,000,000 out of the
earnings of the Standard Oil trust and out of his other
investments. This was probably the greatest amount of wealth that
any private citizen had ever been able to accumulate by his own
efforts.” By the time of his death in 1937, Rockefeller's remaining
fortune, largely tied up in permanent family trusts, was estimated
at $1.4 billion, while the total national GDP was $92 billion.
According to some methods of wealth calculation, Rockefeller's net
worth over the last decades of his life would easily place him as
the wealthiest known person in recent history. As a percentage of
the United States' GDP, no other American fortune — including
those of Bill Gates
or Sam Walton
— would even come close.
The Rockefeller wealth, distributed as it was through a system of
foundations and trusts, continued to fund family philanthropic,
commercial, and, eventually, political aspirations throughout the
20th century. Grandson David
was a leading New York banker, serving for over 20
years as CEO of Chase Manhattan
part of JPMorgan Chase
grandson, Nelson A. Rockefeller
, was Republican governor
of New York and the 41st Vice President of the United
. A third grandson, Winthrop Rockefeller
, served as
Republican Governor of
. Great-grandson, John
D. "Jay" Rockefeller IV
currently a Democratic Senator from
and a former governor of West Virginia, and
another, Winthrop Paul
, served ten years as Lieutenant Governor of
Arkansas.John D. Rockefeller rests at Cleveland, Ohio's
Poem about his life
Rockefeller, at the age of eighty-six,penned the following words to
sum up his life:
- Bringhurst, Bruce. Antitrust
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Rockefeller, Sr. Warner Books. (1998). ISBN 0-679-75703-1
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American Dynasty. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston,
- Ernst, Joseph W., editor. "Dear Father"/"Dear Son:"
Correspondence of John D. Rockefeller and John D.
Rockefeller, Jr. New York: Fordham University Press, with
the Rockefeller Archive Center, 1994.
- Folsom, Jr., Burton W. The Myth of the Robber Barons.
New York: Young America, 2003.
- Fosdick, Raymond B. The Story of the Rockefeller
Foundation. New York: Transaction Publishers, Reprint,
- Gates, Frederick Taylor. Chapters in My Life. New
York: The Free Press, 1977.
- Giddens, Paul H. Standard Oil Company (Companies and
men). New York: Ayer Co. Publishing, 1976.
- Goulder, Grace. John D. Rockefeller: The Cleveland
Years. Western Reserve Historical Society, 1972.
- Harr, John Ensor, and Peter J. Johnson. The Rockefeller
Century: Three Generations of America's Greatest Family. New
York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1988.
- Harr, John Ensor, and Peter J. Johnson. The Rockefeller
Conscience: An American Family in Public and in Private. New
York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1992.
- Hawke, David Freeman. John D: The Founding Father of the
Rockefellers. New York: Harper and Row, 1980.
- Hidy, Ralph W. and Muriel E. Hidy. History of Standard Oil
Company (New Jersey : Pioneering in Big Business). New York:
Ayer Co. Publishing, Reprint, 1987.
- Jonas, Gerald. The Circuit Riders: Rockefeller Money and
the Rise of Modern Science. New York: W.W. Norton and Co.,
- Josephson, Matthew. The Robber Barons. London:
- Kert, Bernice. Abby Aldrich Rockefeller: The Woman in the
Family. New York: Random House, 1993.
- Klein, Henry H. Dynastic America and Those Who Own It.
New York: Kessinger Publishing,  Reprint, 2003.
- Knowlton, Evelyn H. and George S. Gibb. History of Standard
Oil Company: Resurgent Years 1956.
- Latham, Earl ed. John D. Rockefeller: Robber Baron
or Industrial Statesman? 1949.
- Manchester, William. A Rockefeller Family Portrait: From
John D. to Nelson. New York: Little, Brown, 1958.
- Morris, Charles R. The Tycoons: How Andrew Carnegie, John
D. Rockefeller, Jay Gould, and J. P.
Morgan Invented the American Supereconomy . New York: Owl
Books, Reprint, 2006.
- Nevins, Allan. John D. Rockefeller: The Heroic Age
of American Enterprise. 2 vols. New York: Charles Scribner's
- Nevins, Allan. Study in Power: John D.
Rockefeller, Industrialist and Philanthropist. 2 vols. New
York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1953.
- Pyle, Tom, as told to Beth Day. Pocantico: Fifty Years on
the Rockefeller Domain. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pierce,
- Roberts, Ann Rockefeller. The Rockefeller Family Home:
Kykuit. New York: Abbeville Publishing Group, 1998.
- Rockefeller, John D.; Random Reminiscences of Men and
Events. New York: Sleepy Hollow Press and Rockefeller Archive
Center, 1984 .
- Rose, Kenneth W. and Stapleton, Darwin H. "Toward a "Universal
Heritage": Education and the Development of Rockefeller
Philanthropy, 1884; 1913 " Teachers College Record"
1992/93(3): 536-555. ISSN.
- Sampson, Anthony. The Seven Sisters: The Great Oil
Companies and the World They Made. Hodder & Stoughton.,
- Smith, Sharon. Rockefeller Family Fables Counterpunch
May 8, 2008 http://www.counterpunch.org/sharon05082008.html
- Stasz, Clarice. The Rockefeller Women: Dynasty of Piety,
Privacy, and Service. St. Martins Press, 1995.
- Tarbell, Ida M. The History of the Standard Oil Company 2
vols, Gloucester, Mass: Peter Smith , 1963. .
- Williamson, Harold F. and Arnold R. Daum. The American
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2, American Petroleum Industry: The Age of Energy,
- Yergin, Daniel. The Prize:
The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power. New York: Simon
& Schuster, 1991.
- Public Diary of John D. Rockefeller, now found in the Cleveland
Western Historical Society
- Fortune Magazine lists the richest
Americans, not by the changing value of the dollar but by
percentage of GDP: Rockefeller
is credited with a Wealth/GDP of 1/65. (accessed 20 August
- John D. Rockefeller, by Albro Martin,
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- Chernow, (1998) p. 10
- Scheiffarth, Engelbert: Der New Yorker Gouverneur Nelson A.
Rockefeller und die Rockefeller im Neuwieder Raum.
Genealogisches Jahrbuch, 9 (1969), pp. 16-41
- Chernow, (1998) p. 11
- Chernow, (1998) p. 43
- Segall, (2001) pp. 15-16
- Chernow, (1998) p. 40
- Chernow, (1998) p. 46
- Chernow, (1998) p. 47
- Chernow, (1998) p. 50
- Segall, (2001) p.25
- Chernow, (1998) pp. 73-74
- Segall, (2001) p.28
- Segall, (2001) p.32
- Segall, (2001) p.32, 35
- Segall, (2001) p.25
- Chernow, (1998) p. 52
- Chernow, (1998) pp. 54-55
- Segall, (2001) p.42
- Segall, (2001) p.42
- Segall, (2001) p.43
- Segall, (2001) p.44
- Segall, (2001) p.46
- Segall, (2001) pp.48-49
- Segall, (2001) p.52
- Chernow, (1998) p. 171
- Segall, (2001) p.57
- Segall, (2001) p.58
- Chernow, (1998) p. 253
- Chernow, (1998) p. 258
- Segall, (2001) p.60
- Segall, (2001) p.60
- Segall, (2001) p.61
- Segall, (2001) p.61
- Chernow, (1998) p. 249
- Chernow, (1998) p. 249
- Segall, (2001) p.67
- Segall, (2001) p.67
- Chernow, (1998) p. 259
- Chernow, (1998) p. 242
- Chernow, (1998) p.246
- Segall, (2001) p.68
- Segall, (2001) pp.62-63
- Segall, (2001) p.69
- Segall, (2001) p.69
- Segall, (2001) p.77
- Chernow, (1998) p.287
- Segall, (2001) pp.79-80
- Segall, (2001) p.84
- Segall, (2001) p.89
- Segall, (2001) p.89
- Segall, (2001) p.91
- Segall, (2001) p.91
- Segall, (2001) p.93
- Segall, (2001) p.112
- Chernow, (1998) p.333
- Segall, (2001) p.93
- [Rockefeller p 183]
- Chernow, 613–14
- The Richest Man In History: Rockefeller is