1853 - 1902. British philanthropist and imperialist. Established the Rhodes Scholarship. Made his fortune in South Africa's diamond trade. Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe) was named in his honor.

British imperialist. Started out as a farmer; eventually controlled the majority of the world's diamond mines. Had a country, Rhodesia, named after him. Established the round table groups of Rhodesian imperialism which eventually grew into, among other things, the Council on Foreign Relations.

Cecil John Rhodes died on March 26, 1902 in a small cottage by the sea near Cape Town. In his short life Rhodes had made a large fortune, been prime minister and had had a country (Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe and Zambia) named after him. He was a man with an enormous drive and energy, ambitious not only for himself but also for his country, the British Empire. He wanted to bring large parts of Africa under the British flag, in which he succeeded.

English by birth, he first left his country for South Africa in 1870 because of health problems. He made his fortune through the diamond industry. Rhodes controlled the entire business thanks to his British South Africa Company, which was founded by him in 1889. At that time he already had become a rich man as head of De Beers Consolidated Mines and Goldfields of South Africa Ltd.

After some struggle, king Lobengula had granted him mineral rights in Matabeleland in 1888. With the encouragement of a royal charter he immediately put pressure on Transvaal. He became prime minister of Cape Colony in 1890. After six years he resigned through his connection with the notorious Jameson Raid into the Transvaal, which was intended to start a revolt against Boer leader Paul Kruger.

Without a doubt Rhodes' most valuable gift to Britain was his creation of Rhodesia in 1895. By this the territories south of the Zambesi river - that were already controlled by the British South Africa Company - were formally accepted into the British Empire under Cecil Rhodes' name. Today he is well remembered for the Rhodes scholarships which were founded at Oxford University under the terms of his will.

Rhodes, Cecil John, a South African statesman; born July 5, 1856. He was the fourth son of the vicar of Bishop Stortford, Hertfordshire, England; was sent for his health to Natal, where his brother was a planter. He subsequently went to the Kimberley diamond diggings; there he soon became conspicuous and amassed a fortune. He went back to England, and entered at Oriel College, Oxford, and though his residence was cut short by ill-health, he ultimately took his degree. He entered the Cape House of Assembly as member for Barkly. In 1884 General Gordon asked him to go with him to Khartum as secretary; but Rhodes had just taken office in the Cape ministry, and decided to remain in South Africa. He sent $50,000 to Mr. Parnell to forward the cause of Irish Home Rule. In 1890 he became prime minister of Cape Colony. His policy may be described as the ultimate establishment of a federal South African dominion under the British flag. He was an earnest advocate of the construction of a railroad "from Cairo to the Cape." He died in Cape Town, South Africa, March 26, 1902. In his will Mr. Rhodes left about $10,000,000 to found a number of three-year scholarships tenable at Oxford, England. The income from each scholarship was $1,500 a year, and two were offered to every State and Territory in the American Union, to every English speaking colony; while five were set apart for students of German descent.

Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.

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