Although John D. Rockefeller amassed a large sum of money during his career as an oil tycoon, most of his profits went to funding philanthropic organizations, promoting the arts and sustaining centers for education and medicine. John D. Rockefeller earned millions of dollars at a time when most American workers lived on wages of $8-$10 per week. Instead of keeping his wealth to himself, Rockefeller gave others in the American society a piece of good fortune by investing in activities and programs designed to benefit others.
John D. Rockefeller was born in 1839, and lived for nearly a century, dying in 1937. Rockefeller ultimately found great success as a businessman, but began life in poverty. Rockefeller was born in the town of Moravia in New York. His father practiced herbal medicine, and his mother took deep pride in her religious faith, instilling Jesuit teachings in her son. Rockefeller attended business school after graduating from high school, then entered the workforce, initially working in a shipping company. Rockefeller saved money earned from work, which eventually allowed him to open up a small sales company. Eventually, Rockefeller moved on to refining oil, which proved a very lucrative trade, and earned him the title of America's first billionaire.