Management Hall of Fame
Most Respected Management Gurus

John D. Rockefeller (John Davison Rockefeller, Sr) (1839-1937) - Father of US Oil Industry

  • "Men, not machinery or plant, make up an organization" (John D. Rockefeller)
  • "The growth of a large business is merely a survival of the fittest." (John D. Rockefeller)

Key Work

  • Starts work at Hewitt & Tuttle.
  • Rockefeller, Andrews, & Flagler becomes the Standard Oil Company
  • He assembled a team of the brightest men in business and harnessed their collective efforts to drive Standard Oil's growth.
  • Nationwide distribution system reaches most towns in the United States.
  • Standard Oil controls over three-quarters of the U.S. petroleum industry and
    80% of U.S. towns served by Standard Oil carts.
  • Establishes Rockefeller Foundation.

If it wasn't for John Rockefeller cheap gasoline, it is unlikely that Edison's wide-scale electrification of the country or Ford's the mass-marketing of the automobile would have happened when they did. One of Rockefeller's greatest talents contributing to his success was hiring brilliant people. 

Books & References:

  • Chernow, Ron. Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr., Sr. New York: Random House, 1998.
  • Hawke, David Freeman. John D. The Founding Father of the Rockefellers. New York: Harper & Row, 1980.


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