For decades, the Rockefeller name was despised in America–associated with John D. Rockefeller Sr.’s feared monopoly, Standard Oil. By the end of his life, Rockefeller had given away half his fortune–but even his vast philanthropy could not erase the memory of his predatory business practices. His only son, John D. Rockefeller Jr., would dedicate his life to recasting the family image.
In the quest for redemption and respectability, Junior would give away hundreds of millions of dollars, and would insist that his six children behave impeccably. Their contributions transformed America. When he died at age 86, Junior left his six children and 22 grandchildren an invaluable inheritance: a name which stood not for corporate greed, but for “the well-being of mankind.”