What Was Cecil Rhodes Famous For?

Cecil Rhodes made many noteworthy accomplishments, but his two most famous are the foundation of the De Beers diamond company and the posthumous establishment of the Rhodes Scholarship. He was also the seventh Prime Minister of the Cape Colony in South Africa.

Rhodes was a brilliant businessman but less-than-stellar politician. He narrowly avoided treason charges in the wake of the failed Jameson Raid. He could not escape all of the backlash, however, and was forced resign as Prime Minister.

Military leaders resented his involvement in the Boer Wars, a conflict sparked by the Jameson Raid. The logistical benefits his company provided were instrumental in the defense of the region, but the Lieutenant Colonel serving during the siege still felt Rhodes was more trouble than he was worth.