John Davison Rockefeller Sr. was born on July 8, 1939 in Richford, New York, and is considered to be the wealthiest American in history. At age 14, Rockefeller moved to Ohio with his family, and he established his businesses, including Standard Oil, in Cleveland. Rockefeller was founder of the Standard Oil Company, which began in 1870, and he controlled 90% of U.S. oil at his peak. Rockefeller was a prominent philanthropist. His donations were responsible for research that helped to end hookworm and yellow fever. He supported a social Darwinist model of capitalism, believing innovation and quality to be the result of economic competition. Rockefeller died on May 23, 1937 in Ormond Beach, Florida. John D. Rockefeller was made a Great Ohioan in 2016.
Photo courtesy of the Cleveland Public Library.