John D Rockefeller, Jr.

John D. Rockefeller, Jr. was the Rockefeller who changed things dramatically for the Rockefeller name and the family. The family’s name though prestigious, was often a name associated with ruthless business practices and more commonly, greed.

The only son of John D. Rockefeller of Standard Oil, “Junior” was the man who would carry on the Rockefeller name. Born on January 29, 1874, John Junior was the youngest of four children. He was raised under strict values and disciplined to believe that one should always ask of himself “is it right, is it duty?” The Rockefellers choose to teach their young children to live serious lives almost from birth and Junior was the Rockefeller who would need to show much promise as he would be expected to take over the family reins as the only boy in the family.

Responsibility was placed on young John D. Rockefeller’s shoulders at such a young age that many outsiders were not surprised when Junior suffered the first of many breakdowns at the tender age of thirteen. This first breakdown made John Junior extremely dependant upon both his mother and his father. And this dependence continued until he went away to college.

In 1893, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. found himself surrounded in a new environment at Brown University and ultimately met the lady of his dreams. Abby Aldrich, the daughter of a US Senator, was not at all impressed with Rockefeller money. Instead she was impressed with John. In 1901, over one thousand guests were invited to the wedding of the century when John and Abby married. The couple had six children and John became a most extreme father. His children kept accounting ledgers of their allowance and he made them realize where every dime they earned in allowances were spent.

At the age of 26, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. walked into the offices of Standard Oil with the good intentions of spending his life there working for the company that had indeed built the Rockefellers unprecedented wealth. At the age of 36, he walked out on the Standard Oil Trust and chose instead to dedicate his life to philanthropy.

Even after Junior had decided to leave the world of business to someone else, issues still arose that threatened to forever tarnish the family name. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. always came out of bad situations with his name in tact, resolve in place and feeling like he very much made a positive difference.

To begin to cover all of the philanthropic endeavors of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. would most certainly begin with a note that it is estimated that Junior gave away over 537 million dollars during his lifetime to charities. His contributions were directly responsible for creating the General Board of Education in the South and his contributions to many educational focuses have exceeded tens of millions of dollars.

John D. Rockefeller, Jr. became the Rockefeller that his grandmother Eliza Davison Rockefeller would have been so very proud of because he was everything the family stood for yet had such a difficult time of showing. He wasn’t ruthless, but giving. He never manipulated a monopoly but instead walked away from it and he gave more than anyone could have ever imagined. Junior was the Rockefeller to be remembered because he forever changed the Rockefeller’s public image.

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