John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937), founder of the Standard Oil Company, became one of the worldâ€™s wealthiest men and a major philanthropist. Born into modest circumstances in upstate New York, he entered the then-fledgling oil business in 1863 by investing in a Cleveland, Ohio, refinery. In 1870, he established Standard Oil, which by the early 1880s controlled some 90 percent of U.S. refineries and pipelines.
One of the most visible contributions was made by John D. Rockefeller himself, who founded the University of Chicago. Intending to create the first great Baptist university, Rockefeller gave the school $80 million, equal to more than $2 billion in todayâ€™s dollars.
Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/carlodonnell/2014/07/11/the-rockefellers-the-legacy-of-historys-richest-man/#c4951da3c266, http://www.history.com/topics/john-d-rockefeller