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John D. Rockefeller

If you have two hours to spare, this video is worth it. John D. Rockefeller, Sr. created Standard Oil in 1870. His dedication and attention to detail made him the world’s first billionaire. But the ruthless business tactics of his early years led to public outrage. In the end, the Standard Oil Trust was declared a monopoly and ordered to be broken up into many smaller independent companies.

There is a reason why Jay Z and his partners named their record label (Rocafella) after this family. They represented wealth and power like the world had never seen. Their philanthropy was also on a great scale. Their donations were responsible for Spelman College, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), medical research and public health campaigns among other things.

 

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