Cecil came from a large family in England. Blowing off college, Cecil sailed to Africa to become a farmer with his brother. Farming didn’t pay, so Cecil dug a little deeper and found diamonds. He named his little enterprise DeBeers and by 1891 owned 90 percent of the world’s diamond mines.
But diamonds were only a steppingstone in the deep dreams of Cecil Rhodes. Imperialism is what made Cecil’s heart sing. One of his loftiest political goals was to recover the American colonies for the British Empire.
He didn’t quite get that done.
He did, however, successfully birth the country of Rhodesia and then he successfully died in 1902. The bulk of his wealth was left to Oxford University where it continues to be used to grant the famed Rhodes Scholarships to this day.