Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Rockefeller Legacy


From the Manhattan skyline to the Gulf Coast, the impact of the Rockefeller family is still present.  The Rockefeller legacy began with a sixteen-year-old bookkeeper in Cleveland, Ohio whose ambition was to earn $100,000 and live 100 years.  This young man was John Davison Rockefeller, who would become the wealthiest man of his time, reigning over a monopoly that refined as much as 90 percent of America’s oil.  Although his company was dissipated in 1911 by the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, the Rockefeller family lives on, with a net worth of about $10 billion.

Currently, members of the family preside over the Rockefeller Foundation, which is over $3.5 billion.  The family’s legacy is most impactful in the realm of business.  After Standard Oil was broken up by the federal government, many of its spinoffs became today’s most powerful oil companies, including ConocoPhillips, BP, Chevron, and Exxon-Mobil.

The Rockefeller’s are just as secret as they are influential.  Many others in the family made substantial inroads in politics as well. 

See Carl O’Donnell, The Rockefellers: The Legacy of History’s Richest Man, Forbes, July 11, 2014.  


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