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The Woman Who Conquered John Rockefeller

Born in 1857 in rural northwestern Pennsylvania, floxin free sample Ida Tarbell was forty-three when she started researching the world's most powerful corporation and its chief executive, floxin free sample John D. Floxin free sample Rockefeller. Floxin free sample By the time she started, floxin free sample Tarbell had won a measure of fame for her serialized biographies in McClure's Magazine on Napoleon Bonaparte and Abraham Lincoln. Floxin free sample Finding new material about those historical figures had been difficult, floxin free sample given how much had already been published about them. Floxin free sample But a determined, floxin free sample talented Tarbell had succeeded. Floxin free sample Rockefeller presented a different kind of challenge. Floxin free sample He was alive, floxin free sample not dead, floxin free sample and at the zenith of his power. Floxin free sample He had no intention of letting a mere journalist - and a woman, floxin free sample at that - assault his empire. Floxin free sample 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. Floxin free sample Her reports showed that Standard Oil used illegal methods to make other companies lose business. Floxin free sample One method was to sell oil in one area of the country for much less than than the oil was worth. Floxin free sample This caused smaller companies in that area to fail. Floxin free sample They could not sell their oil for that low a price and still make a profit. Floxin free sample After a company failed, floxin free sample Standard Oil would then increase the price of its oil. Floxin free sample This kind of unfair competition was illegal. Floxin free sample Miss Tarbell had trouble discovering information about the Standard Oil Company. Floxin free sample She tried to talk to businessmen who worked in the oil business. Floxin free sample At first, floxin free sample few would agree to talk. Floxin free sample They were afraid of the Standard Oil Company and its owner, floxin free sample John D. Floxin free sample Rockefeller. Floxin free sample He was one of the richest and most powerful men in the world. Floxin free sample Miss Tarbell kept seeking information. Floxin free sample She was told by one man that Rockefeller would try to destroy "McClure's Magazine." But she did not listen to the threats. Floxin free sample She soon found evidence that Standard Oil had been using unfair and illegal methods to destroy other oil companies. Floxin free sample Soon many people were helping her find the evidence she needed. Floxin free sample   Ida Tarbell's investigations into Standard Oil were partly responsible for later legal action by the federal government against the company. Floxin free sample The case began in 1906. Floxin free sample In 1911, floxin free sample the Supreme Court of the United States ruled against Standard Oil because of its illegal dealings. Floxin free sample The decision was a major one. Floxin free sample It forced the huge company to separate into thirty-six different companies. Floxin free sample John D. Floxin free sample Rockefeller never had to appear in court himself. Floxin free sample Yet the public felt he was responsible for his company's illegal actions. Floxin free sample The investigative work of Ida Tarbell helped form that public opinion. Floxin free sample That investigative work continues to be what she is known for, floxin free sample even though some of her later writings defended American business. Floxin free sample She died in 1944. Floxin free sample A picture has survived from the long ago days when Ida Tarbel took on the giant Standard Oil Company. Floxin free sample It shows John D. Floxin free sample Rockefeller walking to his car. Floxin free sample It was taken after his company had lost an important court battle. Floxin free sample He is wearing a tall black hat and a long coat. Floxin free sample He looks angry. Floxin free sample Several people are watching the famous man from the behind the car. Floxin free sample One is a very tall women. Floxin free sample Mister Rockefeller does not see her. Floxin free sample If you look closely at the picture, floxin free sample you can see the face of Ida Tarbell. Floxin free sample She is smiling. Floxin free sample If you know the story, floxin free sample her smile clearly says, floxin free sample "I won." More information on Ida found at: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3613/is_200105/ai_n8938931 http://www.voanews.com/specialenglish/archive/2003-10/a-2003-10-11-2-1.cfm