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Haroldson Lafayette Hunt

From dKosopedia


Haroldson Lafayette Hunt, Jr. (born Feb. 17, 1889 in Carson Township, Illinios, died Nov. 29, 1974 in Dallas Texas) was founder of Hunt Oil in 1936 making a fortune in the oil business and was reportedly the world's first billionaire.


Birth and early life

Haroldson Lafayette Hunt, Jr., better known as H. L. Hunt, was born in Illinois, the youngest of eight children. His father, also named Haroldson Lafayette Hunt, was a prosperous farmer-entrepreneur; his mother was Ella Rose (Myers) Hunt.

He was educated at home but left at the age of 15, and as a teenager travelled to various placesworking as a cowboy, a lumberjack and a laborer, he saved enough money to buy a plantation in Arkansas in 1911.

Although floods and an agricultural depression caused this venture to fail, by 1921 H.L. Hunt had recouped enough capital to start anew…at the same time that oil was discovered in El Dorado, Arkansas. Quickly caught up in the "black gold" fever of that moment of time, the 32-year-old Hunt moved to El Dorado, where he began trading oil and gas leases. Soon he began his own drilling operations with increasing success.

In 1930, Hunt heard reports of a wildcat well being drilled in East Texas, a region not considered to be a prospective oil area. Curious, he traveled to Rusk County, Texas, where he met Columbus Marion "Dad" Joiner, the renowned wildcatter. Dad Joiner was then drilling the Daisy Bradford No. 3, the rank wildcat well that discovered the giant East Texas oil field which, with an estimated recovery of 6 billion barrels of oil, became the largest oil field in the world at that time.

Recognizing the significance of the East Texas discovery before the rest of the oil industry, H. L. Hunt moved quickly and took a significant risk by purchasing the Daisy Bradford No. 3 and nearby leases from Joiner. The Daisy Bradford No. 3 continues to produce to this day.

This East Texas field provided the financial base for the founding of Hunt Oil Company in 1934.

His family

Hunt married three times, and had fourteen children. His first wife Lyda Buke(died (1955), whom he married in Arkansas on November 26, 1914. They had six children, the best-known of whom are Bunker, Lamar and Herbert. In 1925, he married (bigamously) Frania Tye, and they had four children, before splitting up in 1942. Hunt then had four more children with his mistress, a Hunt Oil Company secretary named Ruth Ray, whom he married in 1957.

Here are the names of his fourteen children, not necessarily in order:

  1. William Herbert Hunt (born c. 1929)
  2. Nelson Bunker Hunt
  3. Helen Lee Cartledge Hunt (deceased)
  4. Haroldina Franch Hunt (deceased)
  5. Howard Lee Hunt (deceased)
  6. Hugh Hunt (whereabouts unknown)
  7. H. L. "Hassie" Hunt III (born c. 1918) - diagnosed as a schizophrenic in the early 1940s; co-owner of Hunt Petroleum
  8. Margaret Hunt Hill (born c. 1916), philanthropist and co-owner of Hunt Petroleum
  9. Caroline Rose Hunt (born c. 1923) - owner of a chain of hotels
  10. Lamar Hunt (born August 2, 1932) - co-founder of the American Football League and the North American Soccer League; owner of the Kansas City Chiefs
  11. Ray Lee Hunt (born c. 1943) - chairman of Hunt Oil
  12. June Hunt (born c. 1944) - host of a daily religious radio show, Hope for the Heart
  13. Helen Lakelly Hunt (born c. 1949) - a pastoral counselor in Dallas; co-manager of the Hunt Alternatives Fund, one of the family's charitable arms
  14. Swanee Hunt (born c. 1950) - former U.S. ambassador to Austria; now head of the Women and Public Policy Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and co-manager of the Hunt Alternatives Fund

Following his death in 1974, H. L. Hunt was buried in the Sparkman-Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery in Dallas, Texas.


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This page was last modified 20:21, 14 April 2006 by dKosopedia user Allamakee Democrat. Based on work by dKosopedia user(s) Lestatdelc. Content is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

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