Meet Oklahoma’s Richest Man, Harold Hamm
If there’s one thing Oklahoma isn’t known for, it’s personal wealth. But one Okie, oil guru Harold Hamm, has carved out his place as the worlds 39th richest man.
Now, before you go all “Occupy Wall Street” on me, Harold happens to be the definition of a self made man. Let me tell you about him.
Harold Hamm is the youngest of 13 children from Enid, Oklahoma. He was born the son of sharecropper farming parents. And his education experience took him through high school. Meaning, Harold Hamm’s worth of $17billion ($17,000,000,000.00) was built on a high school education. Let’s start the short tale of Oklahoma’s richest man.
In 1967, when Harold Hamm was just cracking into his 20’s, he started his own trucking company supplying water for the oil fields in Northern Oklahoma. Harold became the CEO and owner of Shelly Dean Oil Co. headquartered in Enid, OK.
After a few years of hauling water back and forth from drill sites, Hamm developed an interest in drilling his own oil wells. So, being an adventurous person, Harold gathered up the money he would need to become a ‘wildcatter‘ in 1974.
Now, the oil business back then wasn’t anything like it is now. When you think of the ‘oil busts’ of the 70’s and 80’s, it’s not referring to a well not producing so the company moves on to Plan B with millions of dollars to back research… it literally meant going broke, like the stock market crash of 1929…
After drilling 17 consecutive dry wells in the 80’s, Hamm finally found some luck through technology and science. Along with the success, and new technologies, Shelly Dean Oil Co. evolved into Continental Resources in 1990, still headquartered in Enid at that time.
Skipping forward through the next few years, with several ‘firsts’ to the companies credit… like producing oil from a meteorite crater, successfully drilling the first horizontal fracking wells in the vast North Dakota oil fields, and pioneering the Eco-Pad drill site to help protect the surrounding environment.
Continental Resources has been a whirlwind of Oklahoma success, listed as the fourth largest publicly traded company headquartered in the Sooner State.
Through trial, error, failure, and sheer determination… Harold Hamm became the wealthiest high-school educated trucker the world has yet to see.
Not bad for an Okie.