John Davison Rockefeller (8 July 1839 – 23 May 1937) was an American business tycoon, industrialist, and book-keeper, most famous for his role in the early petroleum-industry and the founding of Standard Oil. Measured in today's dollars, Rockefeller is the richest person in the history of mankind. He was also the first billionaire (in US dollars) in history. With his son John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and his advisor Frederick Taylor Gates, he established the Rockefeller Foundation, "to promote the well-being of mankind throughout the world."
- I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.
- As quoted in How They Succeeded (1901) by Orison Swett Marden
- It is wrong to assume that men of immense wealth are always happy.
- Attributed as a statement to his Bible class (1 April 1905) in "The Loneliness of John D. Rockefeller", Current Literature (November 1906) vol. 41 no. 5,
- I know of nothing more despicable and pathetic than a man who devotes all the hours of the waking day to the making of money for money's sake.
- Random Reminiscences of Men and Events (1906)
- Do you know the only thing that gives me pleasure? It's to see my dividends coming in.
- Remark to a neighbor, quoted by John Lewis in Cosmopolitan (1908)
- God gave me my money.
- Women's Home Companion (1915), quoted in God's Gold (1932) by John T. Flynn
- The most important thing for a young man is to establish a credit — a reputation, character.
- The Men Who Are Making America (1918) by Bertie Charles Forbes
- I was early taught to work as well as play,
My life has been one long, happy holiday;
Full of work and full of play —
I dropped the worry on the way —
And God was good to me every day.
- Verses written on his eighty-sixth birthday (8 July 1925) 
- I believe it is a religious duty to get all the money you can, fairly and honestly; to keep all you can, and to give away all you can.
- TIME Magazine (21. May 1928) 
- I believe the power to make money is a gift of God … to be developed and used to the best of our ability for the good of mankind. Having been endowed with the gift I possess, I believe it is my duty to make money and still more money and to use the money I make for the good of my fellow man according to the dictates of my conscience.
- Interview with William Hoster, quoted in God's Gold (1932) by John T. Flynn
- The ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee, and I will pay more for that ability than for any other under the sun.
- Attributed in How to Win Friends and Influence People (1937) by Dale Carnegie
- Try to turn every disaster into an opportunity.
- Attributed in The Rockefellers (1976) by Peter Collier and David Horowitz
- If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.
- As quoted in Steps to the Top (1985) by Zig Ziglar, p. 16
- The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets.
- Attributed in The Fourth — And by Far the Most Recent 637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said (1990) by Robert Byrne; attributed elsewhere to Nathan M. Rothschild
- If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it.
- As quoted in Complete Speaker's and Toastmaster's Library (1992) edited by Jacob Morton Braude and Glenn Van Ekeren
- Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing.
- As quoted in The Forbes Book of Business Quotations (2007) edited by Ted Goodman, p. 175
- I would rather hire a man with enthusiasm, than a man who knows everything.
- As quoted in Classic Wisdom for the Professional Life (2010) by Bryan Curtis, p. 75
- The day of combination is here to stay. Individualism has gone, never to return.
- John D. Rockefeller, age 41, in 1880 — Allan Nevins, John D. Rockefeller (New York: Scribner, 1959), I:622.
- I have ways of making money that you know nothing of.
- As quoted by Isaac Hewitt (1879) in testimony to the New York Assembly. Rockefeller doubted that he said this, according to John D. : The Founding Father of the Rockefellers (1980) by David Freeman Hawke; this is reminiscent of the remark attributed to Jesus in John 4:32: "I have meat to eat that ye know not of." (KJV)/"I have food to eat that you know nothing about." (NIV)
- Good management consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people.
- As quoted in The Harper Book of Quotations (1993) by Robert I. Fitzhenry, p. 71; the earliest published occurrence of such remarks yet located were those of Jim Low in "The Human in Public Relations" a diner address in Proceedings, Seventh Annual Meeting of the Agricultural Research Institute, October 13-14, 1958, Washington, Pt. 3, p. 83
- I don't want a nation of thinkers, I want a nation of workers.
- Attributed by Jim Marrs in the William Lewis film One Nation Under Siege (2008); no published occurrence of this has been located prior to The Trillion-Dollar Conspiracy : How the New World Order, Man-Made Diseases, and Zombie Banks Are Destroying America (2010) by Jim Marrs
- The only question with wealth is, what do you do with it?
- Though attributed to John D. Rockefeller, Sr. in I Want to Make Money in the Stock Market : Learn to Begin Investing Without Losing Your Life Savings (2006) by Chris M. Hart, p. 169; this is clearly a statement of his son, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., as quoted in John D. Rockefeller, Jr: A Portrait (1956) by Raymond Blaine Fosdick, p. 189: The only question with wealth is what to do with it. It can be used for evil purposes or it can be an instrumentality for constructive social living.
Quotes about RockefellerEdit
- My mother and father raised but one question: Is it right, is it duty?
- John D. Rockefeller, Jr., as quoted in The Rich Man and the Kingdom : John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and the Protestant establishment (1995) by Albert F. Schenkel, p. 13
- I took responsibility early and, like my parents, I was serious.
- John D. Rockefeller, Jr., as quoted in John D. Rockefeller, Jr : A Portrait (1956) by Raymond Blaine Fosdick, p. 32
- Works by John D. Rockefeller at Project Gutenberg
- American Experience: The Rockefellers (PBS)
- The Rockefeller Archive Center: The authorised Rockefeller family bibliography
- Illustrated article about John D Rockefeller and the Standard Oil Company
- Article examining the philanthropy of noted industrialists including John D Rockefeller
- Obituary, The New York Times (24 May 1937)
- "A Capital Life", a New York Times book review of Titan by Ron Chernow (1998).
- Top ten richest men