John D. Rockefeller Jr

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John Rockefeller Jr. (1874 - 1960), was the only son of 'celebrated' industrialist John D. Rockefeller Sr. (1839 - 1937), who founded Standard Oil out of Ohio in 1870. Rockefeller Sr. became extremely wealthy as the value of oil soared. He proceeded to found several groups which were concerned with medical research and education. Rockefeller Sr. also founded Rockefeller University, and The University of Chicago. He was a dedicated Northern Baptist and supported the church. Standard Oil was convicted of monopolistic practices in 1911, and subsequently broke up. Upon his death, John Jr. was left in charge of his father's various philanthropic foundations.

He was a director of Standard Oil, and of JP Morgan's U.S. Steel Co. He was involved in a scandal with the head of Standard Oil, before its collapse, John Archbold. He was also reported to have made an attempt to bribe two congressmen. In an attempt to redeem his reputation in the public eye, he abdicated his positions with both of the aforementioned companies in 1910.

The 'Ludlow Massacre' occurred in 1914 in a coal mine in Colorado, where 20 people lost their lives, and Rockefeller Jr. was required to testify the following year. At the time he was advised by William Lyon MacKenzie King and Ivy Lee, both headliners in early PR history. He later admitted fault in his testimony.

He established the Rockefeller Center shortly afterwards in New York, and became one of the largest real estate owners in New York City.

"He was influential in attracting leading blue chip corporations as tenants in the complex, including GE and its then affiliates RCA, NBC and RKO, as well as Standard Oil of New Jersey (Esso), and Associated Press and Time Inc, as well as branches of the then Chase National Bank, now JP Morgan Chase.

The family office, of which he was in charge, called now formally "Rockefeller Family and Associates" (and informally, Room 5600), shifted from Standard Oil headquarters to the 56th floor of what is now the landmark GE Building, upon its completion in 1933.

In 1921, he received about 10% of the shares of the Equitable Trust Company from his father, making him the bank's largest shareholder. Subsequently, in 1930, the Equitable merged with the Chase National Bank, now JP Morgan Chase, and became at that time the largest bank in the world. Although his stockholding was reduced to about 4% following this merger, he was still the largest shareholder in what became known as the "Rockefeller bank". As late as the 1960s his family still retained about 1% of the bank's shares, by which time his son David had become the bank's president."[1]


  1. John Rockefeller Jr. Wikipedia, accessed 21 October 2008