Oil and gas are behind most of the billionaires who live in Oklahoma according to the latest 2022 list of billionaires compiled by Forbes magazine.
Forbes cited Continental Resources founder Harold Hamm as number 98 on its list, reporting him with a $17.2 billion fortune. His is truly a “rags to riches” story, considering he was the 13th child of Oklahoma sharecroppers, picked cotton barefoot as a child and went to work at a gas station at the age of 16. From there he started his own trucking company hauling water to and from oilfields. It was in 1971 when Hamm took out a loan to drill his first well.
In the 1990s, Hamm started oil exploration in the Bakken play of North Dakota and now Continental Resources is one of that state’s main energy producers.
George Kaiser, with a $9.9 billion fortune is ranked 201st on the Forbes billionaire list.
- George Kaiser took over his family’s Kaiser-Francis Oil Company in the 1960s.
- Kaiser bought the Bank of Oklahoma in 1991 for $60 million; he owns about 54% of the publicly-traded bank.
- He also owns LNG firm Excelerate Energy and stakes in several companies, including publicly traded fintech firm Alkami and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Tom and Judy Love of Oklahoma City were ranked 213th with a $9.7 billion fortune made from their Love’s convenience stores and service stations. Their company was started in 1964 when they leased a gas station in Watonga, Oklahoma. Now Love’s is a nationwide chain with more than 490 locations in 41 states and estimated annual revenues of $20 billion.
David Green has a fortune worth $7.3 billion and is ranked 324th on the Forbes billionaire list. It is another case of a “rags to riches” story.
The founder of Hobby Lobby stores, a firm he started in 1970 with a $600 loan to open his first crafts shop, Green’s empire now has 957 stores in 46 states and $6.4 billion in sales in 2020.
He is also a devout Christian who remains as CEO of Hobby Lobby and works six days a week.