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45 Inspirational John D. Rockefeller Quotes on Wealth and Education

John D Rockefeller Quotes

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Born John Davison Rockefeller on July 8, 1839 in Richford, New York, John. D. Rockefeller was an American industrialist, entrepreneur, and CEO. When he was 14, his family moved from New York to Cleveland, Ohio, and as a teenager, he began several small-business ventures.

He landed his first real job at 16, where he was an assistant bookkeeper at Hewitt & Tuttle. By the time he was 20, he left the job to venture out on his own with a business partner. He worked as a commission merchant in hay, grains, meat, and other goods. By the end of his first year in business, Rockefeller’s company had grossed $450,000.

John D Rockefeller Quotes

By the 1860s, the careful Rockefeller sensed opportunity in the oil business and decided to establish an oil refinery near Cleveland, which opened in 1863. Two years later, his Cleveland refinery was the largest in the area, and it was then he chose to turn his full attention to the oil business. Standard Oil was extremely successful – so much so that it controlled the majority of Cleveland area refineries.

Rockefeller used the size of the refinery to make favorable deals to gain control over almost every aspect of the business. In just over a decade since Standard Oil was incorporated, it had a near total oil business monopoly, with Rockefeller being the overseer of everything.

However, antitrust issues came along and in 1911 Standard Oil was forced to completely dissolve. Rockefeller retired at age 56 and spent his time with charitable endeavors before his death on May 23, 1937. His son, John Jr., would continue his philanthropy.

John D. Rockefeller is inspirational because he never stopped working hard for what he wanted, but he also used the wealth he accrued to help others who needed it more than he did.


1.) Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great. – John D. Rockefeller


2.) If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success. – John D. Rockefeller


3.) I believe that thrift is essential to well-ordered living. – John D. Rockefeller


4.) Don’t blame the marketing department. The buck stops with the chief executive. – John D. Rockefeller


5.) The impression was gaining ground with me that it was a good thing to let the money be my slave and not make myself a slave to money. – John D. Rockefeller

John D Rockefeller Quotes on Wealth


6.) I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature. – John D. Rockefeller


7.) It is wrong to assume that men of immense wealth are always happy. – John D. Rockefeller


8.) I know of nothing more despicable and pathetic than a man who devotes all the hours of the waking day to the making of money for money’s sake. – John D. Rockefeller


9.) I believe in the supreme worth of the individual and in his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. – John D. Rockefeller


10.) I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty. – John D. Rockefeller


11.) Singleness of purpose is one of the chief essentials for success in life, no matter what may be one’s aim – John D. Rockefeller

John D Rockefeller Quotes on Education


12.) Charity is injurious unless it helps the recipient to become independent of it. – John D. Rockefeller


13.) I always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity. – John D. Rockefeller


14.) I had no ambition to make a fortune. Mere money-making has never been my goal, I had an ambition to build. – John D. Rockefeller


15.) The person who starts out simply with the idea of getting rich won’t succeed; you must have a larger ambition. There is no mystery in business success. If you do each day’s task successfully, and stay faithfully within these natural operations of commercial laws which I talk so much about, and keep your head clear, you will come out all right. – John D. Rockefeller



16.) Every right implies a responsibility; Every opportunity, an obligation, Every possession, a duty. – John D. Rockefeller


17.) I would rather earn 1% off a 100 people’s efforts than 100% of my own efforts. – John D. Rockefeller


18.) If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it. – John D. Rockefeller


19.) A man of words and not of deeds is like a garden full of weeds. – John D. Rockefeller


20.) A man’s wealth must be determined by the relation of his desires and expenditures to his income. If he feels rich on ten dollars, and has everything else he desires, he really is rich. – John D. Rockefeller


21.) Do not many of us who fail to achieve big things … fail because we lack concentration — the art of concentrating the mind on the thing to be done at the proper time and to the exclusion of everything else? – John D. Rockefeller

John D Rockefeller Quotes on Money


22.) Do you know what would hurt grandfather a great deal? To know that any of you boys should become wasteful, extravagant, careless with his money. – John D. Rockefeller


23.) God gave me my money. – John D. Rockefeller


24.) I can think of nothing less pleasurable than a life devoted to pleasure. – John D. Rockefeller


25.) Good management consists in showing average people how to do the work of superior people. – John D. Rockefeller


26.) A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship. – John D. Rockefeller


27.) Competition is a sin. – John D. Rockefeller


28.) I can think of nothing less pleasurable than a life devoted to pleasure – John D. Rockefeller


29.) The most important thing for a young man is to establish credit – a reputation and character.” – John D. Rockefeller


30.) The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets – John D. Rockefeller


31.) The only question with wealth is, what do you do with it?” – John D. Rockefeller


32.) The ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee and I will pay more for that ability than for any other under the sun. – John D. Rockefeller


33.) I believe that the power to make money is a gift from God. – John D. Rockefeller


34.) Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing. – John D. Rockefeller


35.) When work goes out of style we may expect to see civilization totter and fall. – John D. Rockefeller



36.) We are never too old to study the bible. Each time the lessons are studied comes some new meaning, some new thought which will make us better. – John D. Rockefeller


37.) There is nothing in this world that can compare with the Christian fellowship; Nothing that can satisfy but Christ. – John D. Rockefeller


38.) I have ways of making money that you know nothing of. – John D. Rockefeller


39.) After it is all over, the religion of man is his most important possession. – John D. Rockefeller


40.) The success of each is dependent upon the success of the other. – John D. Rockefeller


41.) Think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege. – John D. Rockefeller


42.) I believe that love is the greatest thing in the world; that it alone can and will triumph over might – John D. Rockefeller


43.) I believe in the sacredness of a promise, that a man’s word should be as good as his bond; that character — not wealth or power or position — is of supreme worth.” – John D. Rockefeller


44.) The American Beauty Rose can be produced in the splendor and fragrance which bring cheer to its beholder only by sacrificing the early buds which grow up around it. This is not an evil tendency in business. It is merely the working-out of a law of nature and a law of God. – John D. Rockefeller


45.) If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.  – John D. Rockefeller


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    August 21, 2019 at 4:57 am

    As Rockefeller’s wealth grew, so did his giving, primarily to educational and public health causes, but also for basic science and the arts. He was advised primarily by Frederick Taylor Gates

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