John D. Rockefeller quotes

John D. Rockefeller photo
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John D. Rockefeller

Birthdate: 8. July 1839
Date of death: 23. May 1937
Other names: Джон Дэвисон Рокфеллер

John Davison Rockefeller Sr. was an American oil industry business magnate and philanthropist. Widely considered the wealthiest American of all time and the richest person in modern history, Rockefeller was born into a large family in upstate New York and was shaped by his con man father and religious mother. His family moved several times before eventually settling in Cleveland, Ohio.

Rockefeller became an assistant bookkeeper at the age of 16, and went into a business partnership with Maurice B. Clark and his brothers at 20. After buying them out, he and his brother William founded Rockefeller & Andrews with Samuel Andrews. Instead of drilling for oil, he concentrated on refining. In 1867, Henry Flagler entered the partnership. The Rockefeller, Andrews & Flagler company grew by incorporating local refineries. Rockefeller formally founded the Standard Oil Company, Inc. in 1870 as an Ohio partnership with his brother, Henry Flagler, Jabez A. Bostwick, Samuel Andrews and a silent partner, Stephen V. Harkness. He ran it until 1897.

As kerosene and gasoline grew in importance, Rockefeller's wealth soared and he became the richest person in the country, controlling 90% of all oil in the United States at his peak. Oil was used throughout the country as a light source until the introduction of electricity and as a fuel after the invention of the automobile. Furthermore, Rockefeller gained enormous influence over the railroad industry, which transported his oil around the country. Standard Oil was the first great business trust in the United States. Rockefeller revolutionized the petroleum industry, and along with other key contemporary industrialists such as steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, defined the structure of modern philanthropy.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1911 that Standard Oil must be dismantled for violation of federal anti-trust laws. It was broken up into 34 separate entities that included companies that would become ExxonMobil, Chevron and others. Some of them still having the largest revenue, as individual pieces of the company were worth more than the whole and, as shares of these doubled and tripled in value in their early years, Rockefeller became the country's first billionaire with a fortune worth nearly 2 percent of the national economy. His peak net worth was estimated at $336 billion in 1913. Rockefeller spent the last 40 years of his life in retirement at his estate in Westchester County, New York. His fortune was mainly used to create the modern systematic approach of targeted philanthropy through the creation of foundations that had a major effect on medicine, education and scientific research. His foundations pioneered the development of medical research and were instrumental in the eradication of hookworm and yellow fever.

Rockefeller was also the founder of both the University of Chicago and Rockefeller University and funded the establishment of Central Philippine University in the Philippines. He was a devout Northern Baptist and supported many church-based institutions. Rockefeller adhered to total abstinence from alcohol and tobacco throughout his life. He was a faithful congregant of the Erie Street Baptist Mission Church, where he taught Sunday school, and served as a trustee, clerk and occasional janitor. Religion was a guiding force throughout his life and Rockefeller believed it to be the source of his success. Rockefeller was also considered a supporter of capitalism based on a perspective of social Darwinism and was quoted often as saying: "The growth of a large business is merely a survival of the fittest".

Quotes John D. Rockefeller

„I would rather hire a man with enthusiasm, than a man who knows everything.“

—  John D. Rockefeller

As quoted in Classic Wisdom for the Professional Life (2010) by Bryan Curtis, p. 75

„I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance.“

—  John D. Rockefeller

As quoted in How They Succeeded (1901) by Orison Swett Marden
Context: I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.

„I believe in the supreme worth of the individual and in his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.

I believe that the law was made for man and not man for the law; that government is the servant of the people and not their master.

I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living.

I believe that thrift is essential to well-ordered living and that economy is a prime requisite of a sound financial structure, whether in government, business or personal affairs.

I believe that truth and justice are fundamental to an enduring social order.

I believe in the sacredness of a promise, that a man's word should be as good as his bond, that character—not wealth or power or position—is of supreme worth.

I believe that the rendering of useful service is the common duty of mankind and that only in the purifying fire of sacrifice is the dross of selfishness consumed and the greatness of the human soul set free.

I believe in an all-wise and all-loving God, named by whatever name, and that the individual's highest fulfillment, greatest happiness and widest usefulness are to be found in living in harmony with His will.

I believe that love is the greatest thing in the world; that it alone can overcome hate; that right can and will triumph over might.“

—  John D. Rockefeller

„I believe the power to make money is a gift of God … to be developed and used to the best of our ability for the good of mankind.“

—  John D. Rockefeller

Interview with William Hoster, quoted in God's Gold (1932) by John T. Flynn
Context: I believe the power to make money is a gift of God … to be developed and used to the best of our ability for the good of mankind. Having been endowed with the gift I possess, I believe it is my duty to make money and still more money and to use the money I make for the good of my fellow man according to the dictates of my conscience.

„Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great“

—  John D. Rockefeller

Earliest citation found in Google Books is from 1993 https://books.google.com/books?id=bdTko5oHTd4C&pg=PA25&dq=%22give+up+the+good+to+go+for+the+great%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiH2e_QivXLAhUps4MKHdf0A9wQ6AEIHTAA#v=onepage&q=%22give%20up%20the%20good%20to%20go%20for%20the%20great%22&f=false, where it is attributed to country-music singer Kenny Rogers. Not found attributed to Rockefeller until 2006 https://books.google.com/books?id=F7OGT9WTiPQC&pg=PA24&dq=%22give+up+the+good%22+%22go+for+the+great%22+rockefeller&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjw_rb9ivXLAhXrmoMKHbgHBqkQ6wEIHjAA#v=onepage&q=%22give%20up%20the%20good%22%20%22go%20for%20the%20great%22%20rockefeller&f=false.
Disputed
Variant: Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.

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„If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it.“

—  John D. Rockefeller

As quoted in Complete Speaker's and Toastmaster's Library (1992) edited by Jacob Morton Braude and Glenn Van Ekeren

„I have ways of making money that you know nothing of.“

—  John D. Rockefeller

As quoted by Isaac Hewitt (1879) in testimony to the New York Assembly. Rockefeller doubted that he said this, according to John D. : The Founding Father of the Rockefellers (1980) by David Freeman Hawke; this is reminiscent of the remark attributed to Jesus in John 4:32: "I have meat to eat that ye know not of." (KJV)/"I have food to eat that you know nothing about." (NIV)
Disputed

„God gave me my money.“

—  John D. Rockefeller

Women's Home Companion (1915), quoted in God's Gold (1932) by John T. Flynn

„Good management consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people.“

—  John D. Rockefeller

As quoted in The Harper Book of Quotations (1993) by Robert I. Fitzhenry, p. 71; the earliest published occurrence of such remarks yet located were those of Jim Low in "The Human in Public Relations" a diner address in Proceedings, Seventh Annual Meeting of the Agricultural Research Institute, October 13-14, 1958, Washington, Pt. 3, p. 83
Disputed

„The day of combination is here to stay. Individualism has gone, never to return.“

—  John D. Rockefeller

John D. Rockefeller, age 41, in 1880 — Allan Nevins, John D. Rockefeller (New York: Scribner, 1959), I:622.

„Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing.“

—  John D. Rockefeller

As quoted in The Forbes Book of Business Quotations (2007) edited by Ted Goodman, p. 175

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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