John Davison Rockefeller (1839-1937)

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John Davison Rockefeller was born 8 July 1839 in Richford, Tioga County, New York, United States to William Avery Rockefeller (1810-1906) and Eliza Davison (1813-1889) and died 23 May 1937 in The Casements, Ormond Beach, Volusia County, Florida, United States of unspecified causes. He married Laura Celestia Spelman (1839-1915) 1864 .

John Davison Rockefeller (July 8, 1839 – May 23, 1937) was an American industrialist and philanthropist. Rockefeller revolutionized the petroleum industry and defined the structure of modern philanthropy. In 1870, he founded the Standard Oil Company and ran it until he officially retired in 1897.[1] 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. Rockefeller kept his stock and as gasoline grew in importance, his wealth soared and he became the world's richest man and first American billionaire, and is often regarded as the richest person in history.

Standard Oil was convicted in Federal Court of monopolistic 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 scientific research.

His foundations pioneered the development of medical research, and were instrumental in the eradication of hookworm and yellow fever. He is also the founder of both The University of Chicago and Rockefeller University. He was a devoted Northern Baptist and supported many church-based institutions throughout his life. Rockefeller adhered to total abstinence from alcohol and tobacco throughout his life.

He married Laura Celestia ("Cettie") Spelman in 1864. They had four daughters and one son; John D. Rockefeller, Jr. "Junior" was largely entrusted with the supervision of the foundations.


Offspring of John Davison Rockefeller and Laura Celestia Spelman (1839-1915)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Elizabeth Rockefeller (1866-1906)
Alice Rockefeller (1869-1870)
Alta Rockefeller (1871-1962)
Edith Rockefeller (1872-1932)
John Davison Rockefeller (1874-1960) 29 January 1874 Cleveland, Ohio, United States 11 May 1960 Tucson, Arizona, United States Abigail Greene Aldrich (1874-1948)
Martha Baird (1895-1971)

Sources and notes

‡ General

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