(Richford, USA, 1839-Ormond Beach, id., 1937) American businessman and philanthropist. In 1853 he moved with his family to Cleveland, Ohio, and in 1859 formed a brokerage company trading in dry grains, grains, meats, and other commodities. In 1863 he acquired his first oil refinery in Cleveland, and in 1870 he founded the Standard Oil Company with some partners.
Rockefeller purchased the majority interest of competing companies to control the oil refinery industry in Cleveland (1872) and then throughout the country (1882); Placed the shares of the company and its affiliates in other states in the care of a board of directors, founding the first large commercial trust company in the United States. Thus, over the years, the Standard Oil Company expanded through different states and completely took over the US oil market until 1911, when Congress declared its activities illegal for violating antitrust laws.
However, about a decade earlier, John D. Rockefeller had half-abandoned businesses to engage in philanthropy, donating thousands of dollars to charities. In 1892 he made possible the founding of the University of Chicago and, along with his son, John D. Rockefeller Jr., who continued his work, donated about 2.5 billion dollars until 1955. Other institutions founded thanks to his donations were the Rockefeller University of New York in 1901, and the Rockefeller Foundation in 1913.