John D. Rockefeller(1839 - 1937) raised himself up to become the richest man in the history of the world. At one point, he possessed the equivalent of $1 trillion dollars today's money -- and there were no income taxes then. He started as a bookkeeper, went into groceries and eventually bought refineries & oil wells, which became Standard Oil. For awhile he owned almost all the oil fields & facilities in America. He spent the last 40 years of his life supporting charities and good causes.