DEFINITION of 'J. D. Rockefeller'
One of the great entrepreneurs in American history, J.D. Rockefeller became the world's richest man and the first U.S. billionaire. Rockefeller was an oil baron who founded the Standard Oil Company and persuaded over 32 competitors to sell out to him. Rockefeller pulled himself up by his own bootstraps in the oil industry, using hard-nosed business tactics to win over his competitors.
BREAKING DOWN 'J. D. Rockefeller'
Rockefeller was born in 1839 and died in 1937. His oil company was eventually broken up by antitrust laws. By then he had practically abandoned his oil company and gone into charity work, establishing the Rockefeller foundation which supported such organizations as schools, community works, and health organizations. This institution has donated millions of dollars to worthy causes of many kinds over the years and still exists today.