Oil is one of America’s strongest resources, which since it’s first discovery, has had a profound impact on the nation’s economy. It is very well known that one of the nations founding families for oil exploration is the Rockefellers. The Rockefellers have indeed created a family name for themselves in regards to American History.
John D. Rockefeller, Jr., was born on January 29, 1874, in Cleveland, Ohio, to oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller. Being born into such regality, it seemed as though John Rockefeller, Jr., would also be highly successful in his life. Although John was indeed a highly successful individual in his life, he used his last name to his advantage, and become a philanthropist. It is believed that his philanthropist ways came about as his mother home schooled John and his sisters, Alta, Bessie and Edith until the age of 10. Living in a conservative household with four children, John quickly learned the advantages of hard work and dedication, as well as compassion.
John was raised in a family that surrounded themselves with high regards to family values and religion. Due to this, John was very devout in his religion, which was evident in his philanthropist ways. John Rockefeller, Jr., attended Browning School in New York City, and then advanced to Brown University , having graduated in 1897. While attending Brown University, John was educated in new ideals other than what was visible in his immediate surroundings. Due to this, John gained an education that was rich with different perspectives. John had a compassionate heart, and became more aware of the needs of people and the environment around him.
Shortly after college, John decided to work with his father, in the family business, Standard Oil Company. After working with his father for a few years, and spearheading various projects within the company, John decided to move on to other ventures. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., received financial assistance from his father to help open up the Rockefeller Institute of Medical Research, which is now known as Rockefeller University. John immediately saw the benefits of his hard work, as much needed research was being worked on, and students were gaining a higher education while at the Institute. Soon after, other buildings and organizations were created, including the General Education Board, and the Rockefeller Foundation, thanks to John D. Rockefeller, Jr. One of the most memorable locations that John D. Rockefeller, Jr. also aided in creating is the Rockefeller Center. Rockefeller Center, one of New York City’s most memorable landmarks. Rockefeller Center was merely another prime example of John’s ingenuity and generosity, propelling the ideas for additional various land renovations and restorations throughout the area.
While attending Brown University, John met his future wife, college classmate, Abbey Greene Aldrich, who was the daughter of Rhode Island Senator Nelson Aldrich. On October 1, 1901, John and Abbey had a ceremony that, even in today’s standards, is seen as extremely elegant and lavish. With over 1,000 guests in attendance, the Rockefeller and Aldrich families were officially connected, creating a buzz of interest for many Americans.
John and Abbey extended their love, and had a family that consisted of six children: Abby, John D. Rockefeller, III , Nelson, Laurance, Winthrop, and David. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. made sure that his children were aware of hard work, and the monetary benefits that could be reaped from such work. John believed in teaching his children the benefits of hard work and the rewards that can be reaped from such. He made sure that his children were to do their chores for a weekly allowance. The allowance was to be recorded by the child in a ledger, as they were responsible for their money. One third of their money was to spend on whatever they so choose. The other two thirds of their remaining allowance was to be donated to a charitable organization, as well as saved.
Along with living the life of an active philanthropist, John was also known for taking an enormous interest in conservation. John donated millions of dollars for the cause, including national parks such as the Great Smoky Mountains, Acadia, Grand Teton and the Virgin Islands. He also devoted much of his time to helping with the aid of money during World War I and II.
John Rockefeller, Jr., was known to visit the soldiers and their campgrounds, held speeches before troop deployment, as well acting as a chaplain for the soldiers. John’s devotion to United States military men was so devout, that he aided in establishing the U.S.O ( United Service Organizations) in 1941. With the assistance of the U.S.O, and John’s tactful ways of raising money, they later created the National War Fund, raising well over $320 million for all individuals, organizations, and military operations that were involved in the World Wars.
When John D. Rockefeller passed away on May 11, 1960, the world indeed lost a good gentleman. His indelible mark that he left in this world is still mentioned to this day. It is believed at the time of his passing, that all of the monetary donations that he contributed to various charities and organizations totaled $537 million. Churches, religious organizations, national parks, colleges and universities, military organizations, as well as libraries and museums all contributed from the monies that were donated throughout John D. Rockefeller’s life. In 1972, Congress approved of naming 24,000 acres of land connecting Yosemite and Grand Teton National Parks the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, as well as naming land in the Great Smoky Mountains, the Rockefeller Memorial.
It is without a doubt that John D. Rockefeller Jr. created profound benefits to multiple organizations throughout his life. His acts of kindness towards others continues to be paid forward, as many of the contributions, establishments and other venues continue to remain in full operation to this day. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. was indeed a man of much integrity, dignity, and charitable efforts, which are still evident today, even decades after his passing. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. was a not only a philanthropist, but a man that shared his riches for the welfare of people in his country, and that is indeed a legacy that anyone would be proud of.