World’s First Billionaire Studied Accounting Just For 10 Weeks. This Is His Story

World's First Billionaire Studied Accounting Just For 10 Weeks. This Is His Story

John D Rockefeller was born on July 8, 1839.

Becoming rich is everyone’s dream. People strive all their lives to improve their status and become wealthy. Many attribute money as the only source of happiness and reason to live. But there are very few who actually reach the top, becoming billionaires (the measure of success in today’s world). Their wealth becomes the talk of the town, with many people reading with interest every detail about the billionaires’ lives. In 2021, Forbes reported 2,755 billionaires worldwide. The 2021 list added a record high of nearly 500 new billionaires from 2020. Elon Musk is the richest person today, but before him many people earlier wore the billionaire cap.

The world got its first billionaire by measurable dollars in 1916 when John D Rockefeller achieved the status. Mr Rockefeller used his keen business sense to establish Standard Oil Company, a move that made him one of the wealthiest men in the world.

As per the Forbes report, his formal business training included a 10-week class in accounting. Quoting his biography titled ‘John D Rockefeller: Anointed with Oil‘, the entrepreneur had a con-artist father who was known to say, “I cheat my boys every chance I get. I want to make ’em sharp.”

At the age of 25, Mr Rockefeller became the wealthiest man of his time, reigning over a monopoly that refined as much as 90 per cent of America’s oil.

His wealth was equal to $30 billion today, adjusted for inflation. By the time Mr Rockefeller died in 1937, his assets equalled 1.5 per cent of America’s total economic output.

To put this in perspective, Forbes said to control an equivalent share today would require a net worth of about $340 billion.

Currently, Mr Musk is the richest man on the planet, with a personal fortune of just under $250 billion, according to Oxfam, which used figures from Forbes.

The Library of US Congress has a dedicated page on Mr Rockefeller, which says he was born on July 8, 1839 to William Avery Rockefeller and Eliza Davison in Richford, New York. His family later moved near Cleveland, Ohio, where he attended Cleveland’s Central High School before dropping out and starting his first job as an assistant bookkeeper.

Mr Rockefeller earned 50 cents per day in his job as bookkeeper.

From the money he saved and a loan from his father, Mr Rockefeller opened his first business in 1859. Mr Rockefeller joined the oil business in 1870 and focussed on refining the crude oil, since it had less variable costs than oil exploration and drilling.

Mr Rockefeller married Laura Celestia “Cettie” Spelman in 1864.

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