John D. Rockefeller was a prominent figure in American commerce and was also a generous benefactor. Rockefeller, a former accounting clerk, amassed one of the greatest fortunes in recent human history from an initial investment of $4,000.
This initial investment was made in an oil refinery in Cleveland. After correcting for inflation and taking into consideration the relative GDP at the time, John D. Rockefeller’s net worth was equal to $340 billion when he passed away in 1937.
This figure was determined by using the formula. Rockefeller’s wealth, when adjusted for the effects of inflation, made him the richest person in modern history and the richest person in the history of the United States for around eighty years. On November 4, 2021, Elon Musk was able to pass him and grab the lead.
John D. Rockefeller amassed his fortune as a result of his involvement with the corporation Standard Oil, which went on to become the most powerful oil company in the world. The ruling that Standard Oil was an illegal monopoly in 1911 caused it to be broken up into dozens of companies, the most notable of which were Sohio (which later merged into BP), ESSO (which later merged into Exxon), and SoCal.
The reason that Standard Oil may not be well known today is because of this ruling (which later merged into Chevron). Rockefeller, who had before held proportional ownership of 25% of the Standard Oil monopoly, continued to hold ownership in each new business in the same amount. Rockefeller’s own wealth actually increased as a direct result of the introduction of healthy competition into the oil market. As a result, the corporations grew stronger and more dominant as independent entities.
John D. Rockefeller Net Worth
After correcting for inflation and taking into consideration the relative GDP at the time, John D. Rockefeller’s net worth was equal to $340 billion when he passed away in 1937. This figure was determined by using the formula.
What Happened To The Rockefeller Fortune?
In 1902, an audit of Standard Oil showed that John was worth $200 million on his own. In today’s money, that’s the same as about $6 billion. Two years after the monopoly broke up, in 1913, when the world was getting ready for World War I and oil prices were going through the roof, a new audit showed that John was worth $900 million. That’s about the same as $23.6 billion in today’s money.
People often say that John D. Rockefeller was America’s first billionaire. On September 29, 1916, newspapers from coast to coast reported that Rockefeller had become America’s first billionaire because the share price of Standard Oil had gone up the day before. It’s not clear whether or not those rumors were true at the time. What is known is that Henry Ford became a billionaire for real in 1925, nine years after his first car.
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After finishing school at age 16, he got a job as an assistant bookkeeper at Hewitt & Tuttle, a small produce commission company in Cleveland. Even though he only made 50 cents a day, he gave 6% of that to charity. This was a big chance for Rockefeller because it was here that he learned how to negotiate shipping costs and figure out how much they cost. In the end, he went into business with Maurice B. Clark, and the two of them started their own small produce commission business with $4,000 ($113,822 in 2019 dollars).
Not long after that, Rockefeller and Clark built an oil refinery in Cleveland, Ohio. They owned it with Samuel Andrews and Clark’s two brothers. At the time, the federal government helped keep oil prices low, and refined oil in the form of kerosene was in high demand. After two years, Rockefeller bought out the Clark Brothers and changed the name of the business to Rockefeller & Andrews. Rockefeller would soon show that he was one of the best businessmen in history. He knew how to make money make more money, and he never let his greed keep him from sharing his wealth.
Rockefeller was a devout Christian who gave 10% of his income to his church every year. When he died, he also left most of his money to charity in the form of foundations that are still run by his family today.
Rockefeller gave a lot of money to education. He started the University of Chicago and the Rockefeller University. He started a lot of groups to help medical research, education, and science. The research groups he started helped get rid of yellow fever and hookworms. He helped more people as he made more money. Some of the money he gave went to Spelman College, which is for African American women and is in Atlanta.
He also gave money to colleges and universities like Yale, Harvard, Vassar, Columbia, and others. Rockefeller started the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, the Rockefeller Sanitary Commission, and the General Education Board in 1903 so that everyone could have the same chance to learn.
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