The name Rockefeller has become synonymous with great wealth. From the original Rockefeller, the founder of the Rockefeller fortune, there have been children, grandchildren, and other Rockefellers, and the appellation American Croesus has attached to each one.
John Davison Rockefeller, more usually know as John D. (1839-1937), was born in Richford, Tioga County, New York. Rockefeller had a series of uneventful jobs, but in 1866 he joined his brother William and together with Samuel Andrews formed the firm of William Rockefeller and Company, an oil refining company. After a few business moves, the enterprise incorporated as the Standard Oil Company of Ohio. They placed other properties and interests in the Standard Oil company of New Jersey. In an antitrust suit in 1911, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the New Jersey company to cease operation.
John D. retired in 1896 and devoted the rest of his life to philanthropy. He founded the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (now Rockefeller University) and established a host of other philanthropies. John D. lived a long, enriched, and useful life.