George P. Mitchell, in a phrase, is known for being the father of fracking. The problem with boiling someone’s legacy down to one sentence is the fact that there’s always so much more to the story. In the case of Mitchell, he was one of the most generous and forward-thinking businessmen in the history of the United States. His story is very much an American one.
To get to know him a little more, we suggest you read this awesome summary of his life in the New York Times. For now, here’s eight interesting tidbits about George P. Mitchell.
- A greek man, George Mitchell’s original name was Pareskevopoulos. He changed his name after an employer threatened to fire him because he was sick of writing out his last name all the time.
- Mitchell paid his way through Texas A&M with a side tailoring and laundry business in College Station.
- Years after graduating from Texas A&M, Mitchell became the school’s largest benefactor with donations topping $95 million.
- He developed about 10,000 oil wells, including 1000 wildcat wells, which are wells drilled in areas not known to contain oil fields.
- His company, Mitchell Energy & Development Corp., successfully fractured the Barnett Shale of Texas. This new method later swept the nation and provided a major oil boom in the country.
- Mitchell went to outstanding lengths to revitalize his hometown of Galveston, spending tens of millions towards the cause.
- George spent four years in the Army Corps of Engineers during World War 2.
- Mitchell graduated from Texas A&M with degrees in petrochemical engineering and geology. He was also the valedictorian.