John D. Rockefeller Net Worth At Death – How Did He Get Rich? Exposed!

John D. Rockefeller Net Worth At Death

John D. Rockefeller had an estimated net worth of $340 Billion at death. He was the head of the Standard Oil Company and one of the world’s richest men. He used his fortune to fund ongoing philanthropic causes. He earned the majority of his income from Standard Oil Company.

American industrialist John D. Rockefeller established the Standard Oil Company in 1870 after constructing his first oil refinery near Cleveland. By 1882, he had a near-monopoly in the oil business in the United States, but his business practices resulted in antitrust legislation. Later in life, Rockefeller became involved in philanthropy. He passed away in 1937.

To calculate the net worth of John D. Rockefeller, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as loans and personal debt, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: John D. Rockefeller
Net Worth: $340 Billion
Monthly Salary: $1 Billion+
Annual Income: $20 Billion+
Source of Wealth: Businessperson

Early Years

John Davison Rockefeller was born on July 8, 1839, in Richford, New York, and moved to Cleveland, Ohio, with his family when he was 14 years old. He began a number of small-business ventures as a teenager, landing his first real office job at the age of 16, as an assistant bookkeeper with Hewitt & Tuttle, commission merchants and produce shippers.

Rockefeller, who had excelled at his job, struck out on his own with a business partner at the age of 20, working as a commission merchant in hay, meats, grains, and other goods. The company had made $450,000 by the end of its first year in business.

Rockefeller, a careful and studious businessman who avoided unnecessary risks, saw an opportunity in the oil business in the early 1860s. Rockefeller decided that establishing an oil refinery near Cleveland, a short distance from Pittsburgh, would be a good business move as oil production increased in western Pennsylvania. In 1863, he opened his first refinery, which became the largest in the area within two years. It didn’t take much more success to persuade Rockefeller to devote his full attention to the oil business.

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Standard Oil

In 1870, Rockefeller and his associates formed the Standard Oil Company, which thrived immediately due to favorable economic/industry conditions and Rockefeller’s drive to streamline the company’s operations and maintain high margins. As Standard’s success grew, it began to buy out its competitors.

Standard made such quick and broad moves that it controlled the majority of refineries in the Cleveland area within two years. Standard then used its size and ubiquity in the region to negotiate favorable shipping deals with railroads. Simultaneously, Standard entered the business by purchasing pipelines and terminals, establishing a transportation system for its own products. Standard’s grip on the industry tightened as it controlled (or owned) almost every aspect of the business, and it even purchased thousands of acres of forest for lumber and drilling, as well as to prevent competitors from running their own pipelines.

Standard’s footprint grew as well, and it acquired competitors in other regions, quickly pursuing ambitions to be an industry player both coast-to-coast in the United States and abroad. In just over a decade after its incorporation, Standard Oil had a near-monopoly of the oil business in the United States and consolidated each division under one massive corporate umbrella, with Rockefeller overseeing it all. Everything Rockefeller had done up to this point had resulted in the first American monopoly, or “trust,” which would serve as a beacon for others in big business who followed in his footsteps.

Antitrust Issues

The public and the United States Congress took notice of Standard and its seemingly unstoppable march into the industry. Monopolistic behavior was frowned upon, and Standard quickly became the epitome of a company that had grown too big and too dominant for the public good. The Sherman Antitrust Act was passed by Congress in 1890, and the Ohio Supreme Court ruled two years later that Standard Oil was a monopoly in violation of Ohio law. Rockefeller, always one step ahead, dissolved the corporation and allowed each property under the Standard banner to be run by others. However, the overall hierarchy remained largely intact, and Standard’s board retained control of the web of spun-off companies.

Only nine years after splintering itself in response to antitrust legislation, the pieces were reassembled in a holding company. However, in 1911, the United States Supreme Court declared the new entity to be illegal and in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, and it was forced to dissolve once more.

Later Years, Death & Legacy

Rockefeller was a devout Baptist who, after retiring from running one of the world’s largest businesses (in 1895, at the age of 56), kept himself busy with charitable endeavors, becoming one of history’s most respected philanthropists. His funds aided in the establishment of the University of Chicago (1892), to which he donated more than $80 million before his death. He also contributed to the establishment of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (later renamed Rockefeller University) in New York, as well as the Rockefeller Foundation. In total, he donated more than $530 million to various charities.

Rockefeller had five children with his wife, Laura, including a daughter, Alice, who died in infancy.

On May 23, 1937, in Ormond Beach, Florida, Rockefeller died. His legacy, on the other hand, lives on: Rockefeller is regarded as one of America’s leading businessmen and is credited with helping to shape the United States into what it is today.

While his father was still alive, his only son, also named John, served by his father’s side as a philanthropist and would carry on his father’s legacy of giving. During WWII, he helped establish the United Service Organizations (USO), and after the war, he donated land for the United Nations headquarters in New York City. He also contributed $5 million to New York City’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, assisted in the restoration of colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, and provided funding for the Museum of Modern Art.

Success Lessons From John D. Rockefeller

1. A Good Name is Better Than Gold

With a smeared name and battered business reputation John, at the age of 57, retired from the day to day running of his business empire to focus on philanthropy.

He spent the next 40 years of his life torching people’s lives and giving as much as he had earned, and in the process redeemed his vilified reputation.

If it wasn’t for this act of selflessness and immense kindness he would not be celebrated or remembered as he is done today.

And he certainly would not have made it into our Amazing Business Stories list. While crushing opposition, amassing wealth and making huge fortunes, it is pertinent to remember that what posterity has to say about us is what would matter most.

You will be remembered more for the lives that you torched than the wealth you amassed.

The first time I learnt about John D. was in an encyclopedia when I read that he donated the land on which the United Nations headquarters is built in New York. Strive for business success, but never do it at the expense of your good name.

2. Your Partner, Your Helper

John D. had this to say of his wife “Her judgment was always better than mine.

Without her keen advice, I would be a poor man.” Coco Chanel, Mary Kay Ash, Sam Walton; these are a few of the great entrepreneurs whose partners played a vital role in the establishment of their business empires. Your partners are there to make things easy for you.

A race that would have taken you 30 years to run alone will take you just 10 or 15 when you have the total support of your partner. It is very important, particularly for men, to listen to the advice of their wives in any business endeavor.

Women are naturally gifted with the ability of discernment and wisdom. John D. confessed to the number of times he consulted his wife for advice, and she never failed him.

Even spiritually, there are certain successes that are in the hands of your partner, and will never get to you unless you approach and treat them with love and respect. This point is very valid, unless of course, you get married to the very wrong partner.

3. Leave Them or Let Them Go

This third point is more or less a continuation of the one stated above.

A business partnership or a marriage can make you better, or make you worse, or in very few cases, leave you at the same spot.

The partnership between John D. and the Clark brothers was a destructive one because each party had a different ideology on how to run the business. A similar case can be seen with Sam Walton and the Ben Franklin stores.

When there are two or more persons involved in any partnership there is bound to be a potpourri of suggestions and ideas, there is no problem with that.

The problem arises when there is a sharp contrast in the ideologies of the constituting parties, and there is no way for them to agree. In that case one of these two has to happen; Leave them or you let them go.

Favorite John D. Rockefeller Quotes

“Never was I power-thirsty, or trying to control everyone. I believed in educating everyone, so they could all get to the position I was at.”


“The best philanthropy is constantly in search of the finalities-a search for a cause, an attempt to cure evils at their source.”


“There is nothing in this world that can compare with the Christian fellowship; nothing that can satisfy but Christ.”


“The man who is holding on by the eyelids and is ignorant of his costs, and anyway he’s got to keep running or bust!”


“Get rich by taking something common and making it uncommon.”


“The best business in the world is a well-run oil company. The second best business in the world is a badly run oil company.”


“I don’t want a nation of thinkers, I want a nation of workers.”


“It has always been my rule in business to make everything count.”


“I cheat my boys every chance I get. I trade with the boys and skin ‘em and I just beat ‘em every time I can. I want to make ‘em sharp.”


“A man has no right to occupy another man’s time unnecessarily.”


“The ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee. And I will pay more for that ability.”


“It is very important to remember what other people tell you, not so much what you yourself already know.”

View our large collection of the best John D. Rockefeller quotes.

Further Reading

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How To Become Rich Like John D. Rockefeller?

John D. Rockefeller did not become rich by luck. To become as rich as John D. Rockefeller, you have to work smart.

Successful people become rich because they take advantage of the opportunities that come their way. They are in the right place at the right time and take the right action.

Thanks to the Internet, the world has changed massively in recent years. Nowadays it has become much easier to make money online.

Instead of looking for a 9-5 job and staying in your comfort zone, it’s better if you become your own boss as soon as possible.

You can learn how to build a digital asset that generates cash flow for you while you sleep to grow your wealth quickly.

If you seize this golden opportunity in time, you can become as successful as John D. Rockefeller one day.

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