The Epic Rise of John D. Rockefeller

Every once in awhile I like to take a walk down memory lane and highlight an old-school entrepreneur who isn’t typically talked about nowadays.


Because people today are soft and we’ve completely lost our grit. I don’t think that people nowadays are inherently weak, it’s just that modern life is so much easier than say, the late 1800s when American capitalism was in its prime.

And so, here is part 1 of The Epic Rise, a series on America’s grittiest, toughest business people.

Part 1 is on John David Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil and the richest person to ever live, not just in America, but in the history of the world. Although Standard Oil was eventually forced to break into multiple companies because it was ruled a monopoly, BP, Exxon, ConocoPhillips and Chevron (among others) are all subsidiaries of Standard Oil.

Rockefeller was completely self-made and had a combination of ruthless business tactics, strategic brilliance, and a passion for philanthropy, making him a complex individual that any wannabe business person can learn from.

John Davidson Rockefeller was born on July 8, 1839 in Richford, NY to Eliza Rockefellar, a homemaker, and William Rockefeller, a con artist...

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