John D Rockefeller Net Worth $340 Billion
One of the wealthiest Americans in history, John D. Rockefeller was the creator of the Standard Oil Company and, after, a philanthropist whose riches bankrolled the Rockefeller Foundation. Hard working and scrupulous, Rockefeller started out small and then made his fortune via hard nosed and sometimes controversial business approaches, which have since made him an entrepreneurial hero to some, a selfish fiend in the eyes of others.
Rockefeller began in the oil business, and from the end of the century the Standard Oil Trust commanded so many other interests that it fell afoul of anti trust laws. In 1911 the U.S. Supreme Court called Standard Oil a monopoly and compelled the Trust to divide into competing companies. By that time Rockefeller the Standard was no longer involved in running the business, having devoted himself completely to philanthropy since 1896. The Standard gave away millions to schools, health organizations and civic endeavors through the Rockefeller Foundation, which survives now. Born July 8, 1839 in Richford, New York, United States, died May 23, 1937 (aged 97).