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Oklahoma Business Leaders

Hear and learn from the oral histories of Oklahoma's most influential business leaders, executives and entrepreneurs on how they built their success.

Learn From These Influential Oklahomans

Bill Lobeck

Bill Lobeck

Businessman, Daily Rental Car Industry

His vision, financial management, and leadership skills have fueled the success of major brands in the car rental industry.

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Blue Cross Blue Shield

Blue Cross Blue Shield

Insurance Company

Learn the history of how health insurance came to Oklahoma.

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Bob Anthony

Bob Anthony

Anthony's Department Store

Corporation commissioner Bob Anthony tells the story of C.R. Anthony and Anthony's Department stores.

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Burt B. Holmes

Burt B. Holmes

Businessman, QuikTrip

A young man's business vision and a chance encounter with an old friend was the beginning of QuikTrip.

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Carl Willis

Carl Willis

Allied Stamp Corporation

These once-popular stamps traded like dollar bills and have an interesting Oklahoma connection.

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Chester Cadieux

Chester Cadieux

Founder of QuikTrip

The story of building QuikTrip into one of Oklahoma's most beloved companies.

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Clifton Taulbert

Clifton Taulbert

Businessman & Author

Overcoming obstacles of segregation, he went on to achieve success as an entrepreneur.

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David Green

David Green

Founder, Hobby Lobby

He combined business and faith to grow Hobby Lobby from one store to more than 450.

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David Walters

David Walters

Former Oklahoma Governor, Founder of Walters Power International

A business and public policy enthusiast, David Walters founded Walters Power International and was the 24th Governor of the State of Oklahoma.

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Dick Carson

Dick Carson

Carson Attractions

Dick Carson shares how his family's business became a pillar of entertainment promotion for over 66 years and three generations.

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Don E. Pray

Don E. Pray

Attorney

Although he grew up "in a garage," Don worked hard and achieved great success in his life while helping others along the way.

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Ed Malzahn

Ed Malzahn

Founder, Ditch Witch

His wisdom and guidance nurtured Ditch Witch into a competitor in the global marketplace.

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Ed Taylor

Ed Taylor

Communications Pioneer

A pioneer in the satellite communication business and philanthropist for many good causes.

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Frank Riesinger

Frank Riesinger

Owner of Riesinger's Jewelry, WWII Vet, Creator of V-J Day Celebration

A master jeweler and craftsman who loved God, country, and family above all.

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Frank Robson

Frank Robson

Property Investor

A businessman, philanthropist, and member of the Sam Walton family.

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Gene Rainbolt

Gene Rainbolt

Banker & Philanthropist

Because of his investment in Oklahoma, thousands of individuals and businesses have flourished.

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Harry A. Clarke Jr.

Harry A. Clarke Jr.

Clarke’s Good Clothes

His family's claim to fame was Clarke's Good Clothes -- this is an Oklahoma retail success story.

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Henry R. Kravis

Henry R. Kravis

Investor & Philanthropist

Following the example of his parents, he achieved decades of success as an investor and NYC philanthropist.

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Henry Zarrow

Henry Zarrow

Businessman & Philanthropist

A generous heart and humble spirit make him one of Oklahoma's most beloved.

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Herman Meinders

Herman Meinders

American Floral Services

Herman's international company brings happiness and comfort to millions of people.

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James L. Gallogly

James L. Gallogly

President of OU

The first Fortune 500 CEO to be appointed President of the University of Oklahoma.

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Jenny Brouse

Jenny Brouse

Business Owner / Community Leader

From Russian to Tulsa. Jenny and her son, Brian, tell the family's immigration story.

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Jim Economou

Jim Economou

The Coney Island Story

In 1926, the Economou family introduced Tulsa to what became a local tradition: Coney Island hot weiners.

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Jim Rodgers

Jim Rodgers

Founder of Tulsa Spine and Specialty Hospital, Owner of Cain's Ballroom

A great surgeon, a good father, and a man whose indelible legacy includes revitalizing the legendary Cain's Ballroom and founding one of Oklahoma's most successful physician-owned hospitals.

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Joe Cappy

Joe Cappy

President of American Motors, CEO of Dollar Thrifty Car Rental

An influential part of the automotive industry's most dynamic times, Joe Cappy helmed the American Motors Corporation and was CEO of Dollar Thrifty car rental.

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Joe Moore

Joe Moore

Moore Funeral Homes

He combined businessman and comforter as he gracefully guided people through times of loss.

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John F. Hausam

John F. Hausam

John Hausam Realtors

After unwittingly avoiding death in war, he eventually established one of the largest real estate companies in Tulsa.

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John Hughes

John Hughes

Rancher and Cattleman

A legendary cattleman, John Hughes grew his family's ranch from 1,800 to over 12,000 acres during his 30-year agricultural career.

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John T. Nickel

John T. Nickel

Owner, Greenleaf Nursery

A genuine love of nature drove his business decisions and led him down the path to preservation.

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John Williams

John Williams

Williams Companies

John, co-founder of Williams Companies and long-time CEO, is also well-known for his community leadership.

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Joseph H. Williams

Joseph H. Williams

Businessman, Nature Conservationist

As a business leader, he reshaped Williams Cos. but the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve is his lasting legacy.

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King Kirchner

King Kirchner

Oilman, Unit Corporation

From roughneck to co-founder of one of the largest U.S. onshore drilling companies, Unit Corporation.

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L. Francis Rooney III

L. Francis Rooney III

Manhattan Construction and U.S. Ambassador

A leader on the homefront at Manhattan Construction and former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican.

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Lilah Marshall

Lilah Marshall

Pioneer Behind Bama Pies

A true pioneer, she built her family bakery, Bama, into an international company.

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Maxine Kelamis

Maxine Kelamis

Savoy Restaurant

Maxine Kelamis and her son, Bill, tell a story of immigration, food, and the American dream.

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Paul Thornbrugh

Paul Thornbrugh

Politician and Businessman

Known as "Mr. Republican," Paul was a businessman, patriot, public servant, politician, and -- most proudly -- a family man.

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Randy Foutch

Randy Foutch

Entrepreneurial Oilman

His success as an oil and gas executive began with forming privately-held companies.

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Ray Ackerman

Ray Ackerman

Philanthropist

Known as "Old Man River," Ray made as career as an ad man and entrepreneur.

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Red Stevenson

Red Stevenson

Businessman and Pilot

Colorful businessman and high-flying storyteller.

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Robert E. Thomas

Robert E. Thomas

Businessman

The ambitious founder of Mapco chose Tulsa for its headquarters.

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Robin Siegfried

Robin Siegfried

Businessman, NORDAM

The family's successful business, NORDAM, gives them the opportunity to give back to their community.

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Roger Wheeler

Roger Wheeler

Businessman

A riverting story of why the Boston Mafia murdered this Tulsa businessman.

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Sid Patterson

Sid Patterson

Up With Trees

His legacy lives on in Tulsa's buildings, in its road infrastructure, and in the "Up with Trees" program.

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Stan Clark

Stan Clark

Eskimo Joe’s Owner

Stan took Eskimo Joe's from a small college town bar to a national brand known worldwide for its quirky logo and cheese fries.

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Steve Stephenson

Steve Stephenson

Business Owner

After founding Steve's Sundry in 1947, he was cherished by Tulsa's readers and authors.

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Tom Clark

Tom Clark

President & CEO, Tulsair

Tom's business skills and successes gave him the opportunity to make a lasting impact in Tulsa.

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Wayne Creasy

Wayne Creasy

Businessman, Insurance

The insurance business gave Wayne an interesting life which included real estate, Roy Clark, and Branson, Missouri.

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William Ross

William Ross

Businessman

A leader in Oklahoma's state law and business communities.

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William S. Atherton

William S. Atherton

Businessman, Pizza Hut

Bill applied the work ethic and values he learned from his family to build a lasting, meaningful business legacy.

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William Vandever

William Vandever

Vandevers Department Store

The story of Vandevers Department Store and the family's many years of faithful civic duty.

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