The three richest men in American history: John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and Cornelius Vanderbilt.
For those given the privilege of being alive during the Gilded Age of America, the expansion of the American economy was truly astounding to watch. With Cornelius Vanderbilt controlling the monopoly on the waterways and Andrew Carnegie operating the steel monopoly, many wondered if there was another monopoly to be controlled in America. The answer to this came in the form of John D. Rockefeller, oil tycoon and the product of an upbringing that focused on hard work and treating everyone with fairness.
Through calculated business transactions and a strategy founded on risk and reward, John D. Rockefeller became America’s richest businessman and the first billionaire in the history of America. However, while the wealth of John was enough to warrant a second glance into the life of the industrialist, John found his true love in dispersing the wealth amassed during his lifetime. With John being able to retire at the age of 56, the final 41 years of his life would be spent investing his wealth back into the American culture. With the aid of millionaire friends from the Gilded Age, John created a blueprint of philanthropy that would be followed by future generations and bestow aid on the common man.
Through the efforts of John Rockefeller, the first charities and organizations designed to provide scientific research via funding from philanthropists were created. Despite the marring wounds stemming from the allegations of collusion in the early 1900s, John’s contributions to America varied from employment to philanthropy.