Clint W. Murchison Sr.
In 1985, Virginia L. Murchison of Athens, Texas, announced her intention to honor her grandfather, Clint W. Murchison,Sr., by a donation to augment the present endowment of the Chair. Consequently, it has been re-designated as the Clint W. Murchison Sr. Chair of Free Enterprise. The additional endowment provides funding for a new adjunct of the Chair, the Center for Technology Development and Transfer, established in 1985 by the 69th Texas Legislature.
Mr. Murchison was born April 11, 1895, in Tyler, Texas, the third child of John Weldon and Clara Lee Murchison. As a small child he moved with his parents to Athens, Texas, where he attended grade school and Bruce Academy.
Early in life, Clint Murchison evidenced remarkable talent as a trader with original approaches to financing. He spurned the college education which his parents planned for him at Trinity University (then at Waxahachie, Texas), choosing instead to work in the family bank and to continue his cattle trading and private business ventures. (Years later, for his sons he provided the finest possible education.)
After serving as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army during World War I, in 1919 he joined his boyhood friend, Sid W. Richardson, in the new oil fields developing in the Wichita Falls area, where he quickly made his first fortune. During his lifetime he conceived and developed numerous important business enterprises, including Southern Union Gas Corporation, American Liberty Oil Company, Delhi Oil Corporation, and Trans Canada Pipeline, Inc. He considered the Canadian project his greatest achievement.
Clint W. Murchison, Sr. was foremost among the developers of the great natural gas industry of the world.
With equal zest he blended his world of oil, cattle, investments, hunting, fishing and farming. He held work to be the cornerstone of achievement and happiness, and he believed that his ability as a creative financier was his greatest talent. He was credited with developing the concept of the reversionary interest format of financing as applied to the oil industry. A true humanitarian, he consistently enabled his business associates to become financially independent by acquiring ownership positions in the companies for which they worked. His favorite philanthropy was in assisting young men with their education.
Three sons were born to Clint and Anne Morris Murchison: John Dabney, born September 5, 1921, and died June 14, 1979; Clinton Williams Murchison, Jr., born September 12, 1923; and Burk Murchison, born January 26, 1925, and died April 15, 1936.
Clint Murchison, Sr. was a Presbyterian, a Mason, a Democrat, and a member of numerous prestigious organizations. He died June 19, 1969, in Athens, Texas