The richest Americans in historyRoundup
tags: wealth, richest Americans
Related Link: Rich, really rich, and ultra rich
John D. Rockefeller
- Adjusted wealth*: $253 billion
- Lived: 1839-1937
Rockefeller made his fortune by revolutionizing the oil industry. Before his time, lamp oil was unpredictable. But he figured out a way to standardize the quality, and Standard Oil was born.
Rockefeller's shrewd business sense led to the rise of one of the biggest companies in the world. By 1880, Standard controlled 90% of the oil produced in the United States. The government broke it up in 1911 amid allegations of price fixing and other underhanded business dealings, but not before Rockefeller became the country's first billionaire.
He spent the last part of his life giving away much of his fortune, including money to found the University of Chicago and the Rockefeller Foundation. The companies that sprung from Standard Oil's breakup -- including ExxonMobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX),ConocoPhillips (COP) and a big chunk of what are now BP's (BP) U.S. operations -- remain among the world's largest.
[Editor: Rockefeller is the first of 20 people included on the list.]
comments powered by Disqus
- Should Trump Be Impeached? What Founding Father James Madison Gave as Grounds for Impeachment.
- Long Lost Nordic Village Mysteriously Abandoned in the Middle Ages Rediscovered
- Holocaust Memorial Rebuilt Outside Far-Right Politician's House By German Activists
- Ratko Mladic Is Convicted in 1990s Slaughter of Bosnian Muslims
- Most Everything You Learned About Thanksgiving Is Wrong
- Is This Professor ‘Putin’s American Apologist’?
- Vietnam veterans challenge Ken Burns on the accuracy of his epic documentary
- OAH historians say events of the past year show they were right to emphasize freedom as the theme of the 2019 annual convention
- Why being a historian is about so much more than producing displays for museums
- Historian Says Textbooks Have Shaped Our Attitudes On Race