John D. Rockefeller
John Davison Rockefeller (8 July 1839 – 23 May 1937) was an American business tycoon, industrialist, and book-keeper, most known 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.
- 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.
- If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it.
- God gave me my wealth.
- It is wrong to assume that men of immense wealth are always happy.
- 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.
- The most important thing for a young man is to establish a credit... a reputation, character.
- I can think of nothing less-pleasurable than a life devoted to pleasure.
- Charity is injurious unless it helps the recipient become independent of it.
- I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living.
- I believe in the supreme worth of the individual and in his right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
- 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.
- I would rather hire a man with enthusiasm, than a man who knows everything.
- The American Beauty Rose can be produced in the splendor and fragrance which bring cheer to its beholder only by sacrificing the early buds which grow up around it. This is not an evil tendency in business. It is merely the working-out of a law of nature and a law of God.
- Don't blame the marketing department. The buck stops with the chief executive.
- I believe that thrift is essential to well-ordered living.
- I always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity.
- Competition is a sin.
- I have ways of making money that you know nothing of.
- The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets
- Attributed by The Fourth 637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said.
- Do you know the only thing that gives me pleasure? It's to see my dividends coming in.
- I would rather earn 1% off a 100 people's efforts than 100% of my own efforts.
- 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.
- Attributed by Robert Heilbroner and Aaron Singer in The Economic Transformation of America. 1600 to Present. Wadsworth: Belmont (CA), 1999: 162.
- Good leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people.
- Nothing is good or bad, right or wrong, by itself, only thinking makes it so.
- Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing.
- If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.
- Singleness of purpose is one of the chief essentials for success in life, no matter what may be one's aim.
- 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.
- 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.
- With perseverance, anything and everything, whether right or wrong, good or bad, is achievable and can be conquered.
- With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.
- Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.
- Every right implies a responsibility; Every opportunity, an obligation, Every possession, a duty.
- The only question with wealth is, what do you do with it?
- 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