John D Rockefeller: Philanthropist or Propagandist?

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John Davison Rockefeller is a man of many mysteries, some argue that he is a

vicious, cold-blooded, money-crazed politician, while others view him as an evangelical

philanthropist. Determining his contribution to America would be like saying: " Hitler

may have killed off 6 million accounted Jews, but he still helped the cause of millions

and millions of Germans." Or like saying, "Nike sets up sweatshops but we get shoes

cheap." J.D Rockefeller did much for this world but only so that he could receive it

tenfold, would that then be considered philanthropy or propaganda?

John Davison Rockefeller was born to William Avery Rockefeller and Eliza

Davison in Richford, New York July 8, 1839. In 1853, at the age of 15, John entered high

school in Cleveland, Ohio. He left high school in 1855 to take a 6-month business course

at Folsom Mercantile College, which he completed in 3 months, and 6 weeks after, was

hired by Hewitt & Tuttle as an apprentice bookkeeper.

John and his comrade Maurice

Clark decided to leave Hewitt and Tuttle in 1859 and formed a produce commission

Business (vegetable imports.) It wasn't until 1863 though that Rockefeller had made his

mark, when he invested in an oil refinery with chemist, Samuel Andrews.

Rockefeller married Laurie Celestia Spelman on September 8, 1864 in Cleveland.

Rockefeller and his wife produced 5 children:

The eldest daughter, Bessie (1866-1906), married Charles Strong, a philosopher.

The second daughter, Alice (1869-1870), died in infancy. Alta (1871-1962), married E.

Parmalee Prentice, a lawyer. The youngest daughter, Edith (1872-1932), married Harold

Fowler McCormick, a friend of John, Jr., and son of Cyrus McCormack, inventor of the

mechanical harvesting reaper. His only son, John D., Jr. (1874-1960), married the

daughter of the most powerful leader in the Senate, Nelson W. Aldrich, and eventually...