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Robert O. Anderson passed away on Sunday, December 2, 2007. As the article below describes, he was one of the nation's foremost businessmen. His many contributions to the oil industry, to the economy of New Mexico, and to the responsible conduct of business have made him an enduring legend. The Robert O. Anderson School of Management was named as a tribute to him in 1974, and we will now carry that name proudly as a memorial. All of us at Anderson have been touched by this great man.
Robert Orville Anderson, petroleum executive, rancher and civic leader, was active in the oil industry since his graduation from The University of Chicago in 1939 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Mr. Anderson served Atlantic Richfield Company (formerly known as Atlantic Refining Company) as its Chief Executive Officer for 17 years, as Chairman of the Board for 21 years and as a member of the Board of Directors for 23 years. Mr. Anderson retired from the company in 1986 to form an independent oil and gas company. He served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hondo Oil & Gas Company, Roswell, New Mexico, from September 1986 to February 1994.
Mr. Anderson served as Chairman of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas from 1961 through 1964. He also served on the Board of Directors of Chase Manhattan Bank, New York, Columbia Broadcasting System, New York; First National Bank of Chicago; Weyerhaeuser Company, Tacoma, Washington; and Carter Hawley Hale Stores, Inc. of Los Angeles. During his lifetime his business endeavors included, the exploration, production, refining and marketing of oil, cattle raising and feeding operations, mining and milling, and general manufacturing.
Mr. Anderson's first full-time job in the oil business was in 1939 with American Mineral Spirits Company, a subsidiary of Pure Oil Company, Chicago. In 1941, he acquired a substantial interest in a small refinery in Artesia, New Mexico, at which time he and his family moved to New Mexico. In the next 15 years he bought and expanded several refineries and purchased Wilshire Oil Company of California, which was subsequently sold to Gulf Oil Corporation.
Mr. Anderson served on the Board of Directors of national Petroleum Council beginning in 1951 and was the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards, recognizing his extensive interest in public and charitable affairs. He was the first recipient of the Charles A. Lindbergh Award for Significant Achievement in 1978; inducted into Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame in 1986. He was the first recipient of The Dwight D. Eisenhower Medal of Excellence in 1989. He was the Honorary Chairman of Aspen Institute, Aspen, Colorado; Chairman of Lovelace-Anderson Endowment Foundation, Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was the Founder of International Institute for Environment and Development, London; and was a Life Trustee of California Institute of Technology and of The University of Chicago, and was a member of the National Advisory Board of The University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management. Mr. Anderson also served on the Board of Regents of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology from 1987 to 1992, and in 1994 he was named Distinguished Professor, Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering.
Mr. Anderson was born in Chicago on April 13, 1917. He and his wife Barbara had seven children and were married for 68 years. He was 90 years old when he passed away at his Roswell home on December 2, 2007.