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How John D. Rockefeller dominated the Oil Industry for 50 years


3. John D.Rockefeller 1839-1937

«The only time ever saw John Rockefeller enthusiastic was when a report came in from the creek that his buyer had secured a cargo of oil at a figure much below the market price. He hounded from his chair with a shout of joy, danced up and down, hugged me, threw up his hat, acted so like a mad man that I have never forgotten it . . .»


John D Rockefeller had been raised in the strictest Baptist faith, in the paternal farm near Cleveland, Ohio. Greedy since his childhood, he used to buy candies wholesale to resell them to his siblings at a profit. After mandatory school, he works at 16 as an accountant for a grocer in Cleveland, giving the greatest satisfaction to his employer by his diligence. He was the kind of accountant that saw everything and forgot nothing. Rockefeller did not forget this early experiences when he came to run his own business

To learn more about John D. Rockefeller's personality, read the excellent biography by Ron Chernow : Titan : The Life of John D. Rockefeller Sr.

A very religious man, John D. Rockefeller thought that God would reward the chosen ones. He had the frugal man's hatred for waste, disorder and middlemen. He did not like public life and the only places where he was to be seen was his office, his house and the Baptist church. His innate taste for secret was reinforced by the public's critic, and his face was one of the least familiar in the Standard Oil Company.

He was never seen either in the oil regions. People began to bestow an suspicious admiration on this man that nobody never saw but who seemed to control everything. The result of this awe was to neutralize the common resistance efforts from the independents. Rockefeller never smiled, except for an exceptionally profitable deal, and he decided young that the oil business was his. With a calculating coldness and an enormous determination he began very soon. In 1863 with and associate and a chemist, he builds his first refinery in Cleveland, producing naphtha and kerosene. Reinvesting constantly the profits and keeping costs and wages as low as possible, John D. Rockefeller grew quickly his business.

Rockefeller toward the end of his life

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