The Woman Who Conquered John Rockefeller

Born in 1857 in rural northwestern Pennsylvania, clomiphene Ida Tarbell was forty-three when she started researching the world's most powerful corporation and its chief executive, clomiphene John D. Clomiphene Rockefeller. Clomiphene By the time she started, clomiphene Tarbell had won a measure of fame for her serialized biographies in McClure's Magazine on Napoleon Bonaparte and Abraham Lincoln. Clomiphene Finding new material about those historical figures had been difficult, clomiphene given how much had already been published about them. Clomiphene But a determined, clomiphene talented Tarbell had succeeded. Clomiphene Rockefeller presented a different kind of challenge. Clomiphene He was alive, clomiphene not dead, clomiphene and at the zenith of his power. Clomiphene He had no intention of letting a mere journalist - and a woman, clomiphene at that - assault his empire. Clomiphene Miss Tarbell's reports about the Standard Oil Company are considered more important than any of her other writings.   Her nineteen-part series was called "The History of the Standard Oil Company.” "McClure's Magazine" published it beginning in 1902. Clomiphene Her reports showed that Standard Oil used illegal methods to make other companies lose business. Clomiphene One method was to sell oil in one area of the country for much less than than the oil was worth. Clomiphene This caused smaller companies in that area to fail. Clomiphene They could not sell their oil for that low a price and still make a profit. Clomiphene After a company failed, clomiphene Standard Oil would then increase the price of its oil. Clomiphene This kind of unfair competition was illegal. Clomiphene Miss Tarbell had trouble discovering information about the Standard Oil Company. Clomiphene She tried to talk to businessmen who worked in the oil business. Clomiphene At first, clomiphene few would agree to talk. Clomiphene They were afraid of the Standard Oil Company and its owner, clomiphene John D. Clomiphene Rockefeller. Clomiphene He was one of the richest and most powerful men in the world. Clomiphene Miss Tarbell kept seeking information. Clomiphene She was told by one man that Rockefeller would try to destroy "McClure's Magazine." But she did not listen to the threats. Clomiphene She soon found evidence that Standard Oil had been using unfair and illegal methods to destroy other oil companies. Clomiphene Soon many people were helping her find the evidence she needed. Clomiphene   Ida Tarbell's investigations into Standard Oil were partly responsible for later legal action by the federal government against the company. Clomiphene The case began in 1906. Clomiphene In 1911, clomiphene the Supreme Court of the United States ruled against Standard Oil because of its illegal dealings. Clomiphene The decision was a major one. Clomiphene It forced the huge company to separate into thirty-six different companies. Clomiphene John D. Clomiphene Rockefeller never had to appear in court himself. Clomiphene Yet the public felt he was responsible for his company's illegal actions. Clomiphene The investigative work of Ida Tarbell helped form that public opinion. Clomiphene That investigative work continues to be what she is known for, clomiphene even though some of her later writings defended American business. Clomiphene She died in 1944. Clomiphene A picture has survived from the long ago days when Ida Tarbel took on the giant Standard Oil Company. Clomiphene It shows John D. Clomiphene Rockefeller walking to his car. Clomiphene It was taken after his company had lost an important court battle. Clomiphene He is wearing a tall black hat and a long coat. Clomiphene He looks angry. Clomiphene Several people are watching the famous man from the behind the car. Clomiphene One is a very tall women. Clomiphene Mister Rockefeller does not see her. Clomiphene If you look closely at the picture, clomiphene you can see the face of Ida Tarbell. Clomiphene She is smiling. Clomiphene If you know the story, clomiphene her smile clearly says, clomiphene "I won." More information on Ida found at: