As someone who actually spent quality time among the Rockefellers working for the minimum wage of $1.65/hr during my years as a teenager on offshore Cumberland Island, GA, this story warmed my heart. I spent several years in manual labor doing an odd assortment of jobs learning the construction trade from the time I was fourteen up through my senior year in highschool on the island where my pop worked as a master carpenter. Cumberland remains accessible to this day either by boat or by small four or six-seater plane, the latter to land on an old field requiring one or two flyovers to chase the feral cattle and horses from their grazing pasture, and is primarily under the authority of the National Park Service now.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, several branches of the Carnegie-Rockefeller clan were building "summer cottages" for themselves on family land they had inherited through the lineage of Thomas Carnegie, who had purchased the island and had built several plush mansions there in the 1880s before most of them were lost to fire and dilapidation due to later abandonment. Thomas also had a more famous brother named Andrew, the steel magnate turned library philanthropist. The families still hold onto parcels of land improved back in my own times, but a settlement was reached after years of law suits stipulating that when the last remaining immediate heir from that generation has passed away, the US government will control it all.
This was a special time in my life, and worthy of a blog or two in its own right, but keeping to the topic of the day:
MEMBERS of the uber wealthy Rockefeller family took a fight with Exxon Mobil Corp. public yesterday, challenging the oil giant spawned by their namesake to split the roles of chairman and chief executive officer and to focus more on renewable energy.
The family members, who describe themselves as the company's longest continuous shareholders, said they are concerned that Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil is too focused on short-term gains from soaring oil prices and should do more to invest in cleaner technology for the future. Separating the leadership roles, they argue, would better position the company for challenges to come.
"They are fighting the last war, and they're not seeing they're facing a new war," said Peter O'Neill, who heads the Rockefeller family committee dealing with Exxon Mobil and is the great-great-grandson of John D. Rockefeller.
Mr. O'Neill said he had the support of more than 80 percent of family members older than 21. Family representatives said that they were not sure how much of the company they own collectively but that it represented a significant holding. Mutual funds and other institutional investors, not individuals, are the company's top shareholders.