John D. Rockefeller

John Davison Rockefeller Sr. was an American business tycoon and philanthropist, who went on to become one of the richest and most influential Americans of all time. He had a long and controversial history in the oil refining business, with the establishment of the Standard Oil Company, of which he remained the largest shareholder, later expanding into other areas like iron and steel. He became America’s first billionaire, with a fortune worth almost 2% of the country’s GDP. By the time of his death in 1937, his net worth was $1.4 billion, with the total national GDP being $92 billion. In the latter part of his life he became a philanthropist, creating foundations that had a major effect on medicine, education, and scientific research. Rockefeller was also the founder of the University of Chicago and Rockefeller University.

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