Who Were The Robber Barons?"A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship." These words ring true in the ears of business owners and CEOs even today. Who was the man that spoke these words that still have thought and meaning today? Why, none other than John D. Rockefeller. Rockefeller was one of the many "robber barons" of the gilded age. In case you were wondering, a robber baron is a "ruthlessly powerful U.S. capitalist or industrialist of the late 19th century considered to have become wealthy by exploiting natural resources, corrupting legislators, or other unethical means." In other words, a real life depiction of "Mr. Pennybags" from the popular Monopoly game.
Robber barons were not only ruthless industrialists, but were also iconic to the time and very popular. Rockefeller Square, Carnegie Hall, and J.P. Morgan bank are just a few of the marks left on society today by these capitalist titans.
Just one question remains: Who were the robber barons?John Davison Rockefeller was the greatest known, and richest robber baron of all time, in fact his net worth by the time he was dead was estimated at 318.3 billion dollars.
John Davison Rockefeller was the second of six children born in Richford, New York, to William Avery Rockefeller and Eliza Davison. When he was a boy, Rockefeller moved with his family to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1853, and six years later he established his first enterprise; a commission business dealing in hay, grain, meats, and other goods. Sensing the commercial potential of the expanding oil production in western Pennsylvania in the early 1860s, he built his first oil refinery, near Cleveland, in 1863. Just within two years it was the largest refinery in the area, and thereafter Rockefeller devoted himself exclusively to the oil business.