Hamm at the 2012 Time 100 gala
December 11, 1945 |
|Occupation||CEO of Continental Resources (since 1967)|
|Net worth||US$ 18.7 billion (October 2014)|
|Spouse(s)||Judith Ann (divorced in 1987)
Sue Ann Hamm (née Arnall)
|Children||5 (three with Judith Ann and two with Sue Ann)|
|Awards||Oklahoma Hall of Fame (2011)|
Harold Hamm (born December 11, 1945) is an American entrepreneur primarily involved in the oil and gas business who is best known for pioneering the development of the large shale oil resources of the Bakken formation.  In 2012 Hamm was ranked by Forbes magazine as the 30th richest person in America and 76th richest person in the world, with a net worth estimated at $11 billion, which increased to $17 billion in early 2014. In 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney named Hamm as his energy advisor and thereafter Hamm made substantial monetary and advisory contributions to the election effort.
Early life and education
Hamm was born in Lexington, Oklahoma, the 13th and youngest child of Oklahoma cotton sharecroppers. Hamm is a graduate of Enid High School. His highest level of education is a high school diploma.
Hamm is a key player in Hiland Partners and Hiland Holdings as well as the oil-exploration company Continental Resources, Oklahoma's fourth largest public company. Continental Resources moved from the Continental Towers in Enid, Oklahoma, to Oklahoma City in 2012. Hamm was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2011.
Hamm worked his way up from pumping gas and repairing cars to becoming CEO of his own billion-dollar company. He has been the CEO of Continental Resources since 1967, when the company was called Shelly Dean Oil Company. Hamm and Continental Resources pioneered the development of the Bakken Oil Field in Montana and North Dakota. He became a billionaire and Continental Resources became a major oil producer.   Hamm was given honorary degrees from Northwestern Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma.
The Harold Hamm Diabetes Center at the University of Oklahoma was named after Hamm, who has type 2 diabetes. The Harold and Sue Ann Hamm Foundation donated 10 million dollars to create the center.
Shortly after being named energy advisor to the Romney campaign in March 2012, Hamm donated $985,000 to the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future. On the eve of the convention, Hamm was credited in a report with being among oil and energy executives consulted in a plan to devolve permitting on Federal lands to the state where the land is located. Romney's proposal, which was launched the same week as two industry fundraisers netted $10 million for the campaign, was seen as going beyond roots in the Sagebrush Rebellion of the 1970s and 1980s, as well as the sometimes controversial permitting policies of the George W. Bush administration in the 2000s.
Hamm divorced his first wife, Judith Ann, in 1987. They had three children together.
In April 1988, Hamm married Sue Ann Hamm (née Arnall) with whom he has two grown daughters, Jane and Hillary. Sue Ann is an economist and lawyer. She has had executive roles at Continental Resources. She filed for divorce on May 19, 2012, while Harold has said that he separated from Sue Ann in 2005. In 2014 Forbes reported that a ruling would allow the bulk of his ownership interest in Continental—and hence his net worth—to continue intact after the divorce. However, in August 2014, CNN and several other media outlets reported that Hamm could face a world record divorce settlement, with up to half of his estimated $20 billion fortune potentially being on the line.
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