Essay On John D Rockefeller

2193 Words9 Pages
To describe John D. Rockefeller in one word would be an extremely difficult, if not impossible thing to do. Rockefeller was known by so many things in his time and still today; a captain of industry who revolutionised the American economy with new business practices and keen management of what he controlled, a robber baron who lied and cheated his way to the top with back room dealings and taking advantage of the most disadvantaged of people. In his early life, Rockefeller grew up in Richmond, New York with his two brothers and two sisters about 20 years before the start of the Civil War as the child of Eliza Davison and William Avery Rockefeller. His father was con artist who spent most of John’s life traveling selling his various elixirs and his mother was a devout Baptist who John said shaped his life and most of his religious views for the rest of his life. Towards the end of his life, Rockefeller had built up a beyond substantial fortune but, seeing as how he was now retired from the oil industry and had no desire to invest into a new business, he decided to follow Andrew Carnegie's Gospel of Wealth by donating the bulk of his wealth to charity. John D. Rockefeller was truly a man who was almost undefinable despite the simple black and white labels that most people and historians have pinned upon him, as we examine his life it can be determined that Rockefeller was neither an evil man nor a good one but someone who lived his life in the grey. To begin the look at Rockefeller’s life, let’s look back to his birth. John D. Rockefeller was born on July 8th, 1839 to Eliza and William Avery Rockefeller in Richmond, New York and was the eldest of his other 4 siblings; Lucy, William Jr., Mary and Franklin. John’s parents could easi... ... middle of paper ... ...mpanies, it eventually came to the point where they couldn’t keep up and eventually became a part of Standard Oil. By the time Rockefeller had reached the age of 40, his company had controlled all national oil refining by 90% and about 70% of international export of said oil. However, the reason Rockefeller controlled 90% is because of a company that basically appeared from nowhere and had some actual competition for Standard Oil and actually surprised Rockefeller. The company was known as the Tidewater Pipe-line Company, it started by building a pipeline from north Pennsylvania to Williamsport. Rockefeller tried to acquire the company but in the end it ended up as Standard only competition with Tidewater controlling 10% of the oil refining market. This was however of not a large concern to Standard as they were developing products besides oil from Vaseline to candy.
Open Document