Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron ChernowJohn D. Rockefeller, Sr.--historys first billionaire and the patriarch of Americas most famous dynasty--is an icon whose true nature has eluded three generations of historians. Now Ron Chernow, the National Book Award-winning biographer of the Morgan and Warburg banking families, gives us a history of the mogul etched with uncommon objectivity and literary grace . . . as detailed, balanced, and psychologically insightful a portrait of the tycoon as we may ever have (Kirkus Reviews). Titan is the first full-length biography based on unrestricted access to Rockefellers exceptionally rich trove of papers. A landmark publication full of startling revelations, the book will indelibly alter our image of this most enigmatic capitalist.
Born the son of a flamboyant, bigamous snake-oil salesman and a pious, straitlaced mother, Rockefeller rose from rustic origins to become the worlds richest man by creating Americas most powerful and feared monopoly, Standard Oil. Branded the Octopus by legions of muckrakers, the trust refined and marketed nearly 90 percent of the oil produced in America.
Rockefeller was likely the most controversial businessman in our nations history. Critics charged that his empire was built on unscrupulous tactics: grand-scale collusion with the railroads, predatory pricing, industrial espionage, and wholesale bribery of political officials. The titan spent more than thirty years dodging investigations until Teddy Roosevelt and his trustbusters embarked on a marathon crusade to bring Standard Oil to bay.
While providing abundant new evidence of Rockefellers misdeeds, Chernow discards the stereotype of the cold-blooded monster to sketch an unforgettably human portrait of a quirky, eccentric original. A devout Baptist and temperance advocate, Rockefeller gave money more generously--his chosen philanthropies included the Rockefeller Foundation, the University of Chicago, and what is today Rockefeller University--than anyone before him. Titan presents a finely nuanced portrait of a fascinating, complex man, synthesizing his public and private lives and disclosing numerous family scandals, tragedies, and misfortunes that have never before come to light.
John D. Rockefellers story captures a pivotal moment in American history, documenting the dramatic post-Civil War shift from small business to the rise of giant corporations that irrevocably transformed the nation. With cameos by Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hearst, Jay Gould, William Vanderbilt, Ida Tarbell, Andrew Carnegie, Carl Jung, J. Pierpont Morgan, William James, Henry Clay Frick, Mark Twain, and Will Rogers, Titan turns Rockefellers life into a vivid tapestry of American society in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It is Ron Chernows signal triumph that he narrates this monumental saga with all the sweep, drama, and insight that this giant subject deserves.
From the Hardcover edition.
John D. Rockefeller
John Davison Rockefeller Jr. January 29, — May 11, was an American financier and philanthropist who was a prominent member of the Rockefeller family. He was the only son among the five children of Standard Oil co-founder John D. Rockefeller and the father of the five famous Rockefeller brothers. In biographies, he is commonly referred to as "Junior" to distinguish him from his father, "Senior". Living in his father's mansion at 4 West 54th Street , he attended Park Avenue Baptist Church at 64th Street now Central Presbyterian Church and the Browning School , a tutorial establishment set up for him and other children of associates of the family; it was located in a brownstone owned by the Rockefellers, on West 55th Street. His father John Sr.
Youth John D. He was gone for months at a time traveling around the West from town to town and would return to wherever the family was living with substantial sums of cash. His mother, Eliza Davison Rockefeller, was very religious and very disciplined. She taught John to work, to save, and to give to charities. When the farmer paid him back with interest the next year Rockefeller was impressed and said of it in "The impression was gaining ground with me that it was a good thing to let the money be my servant and not make myself a slave to the money…". In other subjects Rockefeller was an average student but the quality of the education was very high. In , the Rockefellers moved to Cleveland, Ohio, and John attended high school from to
American industrialist John D. Rockefeller was born July 8, , in Richford, New York. He built his first oil refinery near Cleveland and in incorporated the Standard Oil Company. By he had a near-monopoly of the oil business in the U. Late in life, Rockefeller devoted himself to philanthropy.
John D. Rockefeller: Early Years and Family
John D. By Standard Oil had a near monopoly on the oil business in the United States. Rockefeller founded the Standard Oil Company , which dominated the oil industry and was the first great U. Later in life he turned his attention to charity. He made possible the founding of the University of Chicago and endowed major philanthropic institutions. Rockefeller was remembered for his wealth and for the aggressive competitive practices of the Standard Oil Company.