Why Was John D. Rockefeller a Dick?

It’s said “money doesn’t come easy, you have to work hard for it…unless you inherit it like Paris Hilton did, hook up with a billionaire or get lucky and win a jackpot”….But let’s say if you ever got filthy rich, what is the wildest thing you would want to pull off? Well, I would definitely want to do Scrooge McDuck’s money swim. For me it’s definite excess in success! What about you?

Talking of being loaded, here’s a million dollar question for you… Let’s see if you can name the world’s first billionaire? Come on take a wild guess? Well, times up! It was John Davidson Rockefeller.

The First Man to Top the Billionaires Chart


John D. Rockefeller was the first billionaire having amassed his first billion in 1916. And at the time of his death in 1937, his net worth was estimated to be approximated 1.53% of the entire US economy. It is said that if his wealth were to be adjusted to modern day dollars, his net worth would be between $392 billion and $663.4 billion. Holy crap!

If this got you surprised… wait till you hear this…the man didn’t inherit it or got lucky, he worked hard to build his empire. I say he is one hell of a success story and an inspiration for all who aspire to become successful tycoons and live it up.

John D. Rockefeller’s Killer Drive to Achieve His Billion Dollar Dream

John D. Rockefeller Quote

I think this approach of his really got him going and helped him reach the pinnacle of success. Rockefeller started dirt poor. He attended the Cleveland Central High School and became a clerk in a commission house when he was only 16. Though he took a job, at the back of his mind he always knew that he was not meant to be a salaried employee. He was determined to work for himself and become a successful entrepreneur. And from his story it seems like the man wanted this dream to come true real bad. So, he started saving all the money he could and in 1850 he started a co. business venture with Maurice Clark under the name Clark & Rockefeller Produce and Commission. He sold farm implements, household goods and fertilizers.

I always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity.” John D. Rockefeller

Although this business worked well for him and the company was doing fairly well but it for him it was not bringing him the wealth that he had desired for… we’re talking billions of dollars here! This is when he took a big business risk and went forward with the idea that he thought could help him achieve his dream.

Spot the Opportunity and Nailed It


In 1859 when Edwin Drake discovered oil, Rockefeller saw the future in his discovery. He was convinced that refining oil could bring him great wealth that he long wished for. He believed in his gut feeling and took the leap. John D. Rockefeller sold his original business and founded a new company called Standard Oil.  He introduced techniques that totally revolutionized the oil industry. In the mid-19th century, when the demand for Kerosene was soaring and everybody in the industry was focusing on that, Rockefeller had something else cooking up in his mind. There are many by products that are released when crude oil is converted into Kerosene, which industrialists saw as waste but John D. Rockefeller saw it as gold.

Rockefeller Totally Crushed His Competitors

John D. Rockefeller History

Rockefeller sold paraffin, a byproduct of crude oil, to candle makers, petroleum jelly another by-product to medical supply companies, and other waste from the oil refining process as paving materials for roads.  Now if you’re wondering how this have could possibly made him a bona fide billionaire. Well let’s just say it got the dice rolling for him. This was a part of his strategic business success plan.

Since he had so many by products and oil transported to refineries, many railroad companies wanted to work with him. As railroad companies were fighting over to get his business, he found another opportunity here to Rockefeller demanded rebates. The man was a genius. Using his wits and negotiation skills, Rockefeller entered into deals with railway companies, elicited volume of discounts from suppliers which helped bring the cost of oil down and increase his sales dramatically. His profits soared and Rockefeller literally crushed the competition.

Smaller companies in the industry surrendered their stocks to Rockefeller’s control and he grew his business through acquiring competitors. And by early 1880’s he controlled 90% of US refineries and pipelines. Wow!

Many critics call him a dick and accuse him of engaging in unethical business practices like predatory pricing or scheming with railroad companies to sweep off competition in order to establish a monopoly. But no matter what the critics say, in my opinion Rockefeller was a downright mastermind who had the brains and guts to pull off something like this. Well, the man played his cards right which made him the world’s first billionaire.

Super Cool Facts about John D. Rockefeller

Quote From John D. Rockefeller

Here are some really cool facts about John D. Rockefeller that I thought I should share with you:

  • Did you Rockefeller made his first business transaction at the age of 12 when he gave a loan to a neighboring farmer and charged him 7% interest on it.
  • John D. Rockefeller built his first oil refinery in 1863 in Cleveland.
  • Standard Oil, his company, absorbed nearly 22/26 of its competitors in the initial years.
  • Now this fact will sound crazy but Rockefeller abstained from alcohol and tobacco all his life.
  • He spent most of his money on philanthropy.
  • Through his foundations, Rockefeller supported many colleges and universities.
  • Before his death he gave away nearly half of his fortune to medical foundations, churches and universities.
  • He graduated in 1855 and chose to do business rather than going to college.
  • He is also regarded as the richest man in history.
  • Besides becoming a billionaire, his ambition was also to live 100 years and surprising he lived till the ripe old age of 97. He died of arteriosclerosis on 23rd May, 1937.