He graduated from Southern Methodist University as a geology major in three and a half years. He earned his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1942, then spent three years in the Navy on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific.
For the next decade, he worked for Humble Oil, the precursor to the domestic unit of Exxon Mobil. He set out on his own in 1956, having saved enough money to survive for three years. For 18 months, he did not make “a red cent,” he said, but then he began to strike oil.
In 1990, when his old friend from the oil patch President George H. W. Bush, asked him to be ambassador to Austria, he accepted, and served for three years. He worked to improve business ties with the former Soviet bloc.
His wife of 58 years, the former Phyllis Gough, died in 2003. He is survived by his son, Michael, of Los Angeles, Boston and Houston; his daughter, Terry Huffington, of Houston; and four granddaughters.more » « less