Mad As Hell

With Reporter/Commentator Tim Watts

Ida Tarbell - Muckraker Extraordinaire

The woman who took on John D. Rockefeller... and won.

The woman who literally forced John D. Rockefeller into seclusion with her reporting on Standard Oil, Ida Tarbell was one of the first investigative journalists, a "muckraker." She is  best known for her 1904 book 'The History of the Standard Oil Company,' printed as a series of articles in McClure's Magazine. from 1902 to 1904. Her investigative reporting contributed greatly to the US Supreme Court's decision to break up the Standard Oil monopoly in 1911.


Considered one of the greatest journalists of the twentieth century, Ida Tarbell was a pioneer in investigative reporting. She died on January 6, 1944.


Inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 2000.

"It takes time to secure and to keep that which the public has decided it is not for the general good that you have. It takes time and caution to perfect anything which must be concealed. It takes time to crush men who are pursuing legitimate trade. But one of Mr. Rockefeller's most impressive characteristics is patience. There never was a more patient man, or one who could dare more while he waited."

Ida Tarbell - The History of the Standard Oil Company

"Our national life is on every side distinctly poorer, uglier, meaner, for the kind of influence he exercises."

"Money-mad"... and... "a hypocrite."