Anderson, Robert O.

Anderson, Robert O. (Orville)

(1917–  ) oil executive; born in Chicago. After taking a B.A. from the University of Chicago, he bought Malco Refineries, Inc., Roswell, N.M., in 1941. As president (1941–62), he added wells and pipelines, creating a large production company that he sold to Atlantic Refining Co., Philadelphia (1962). As Atlantic's largest stockholder he became chairman and CEO (1965–86). With its president, Thornton Bradshaw, he initiated the program of modernization, restructuring, and acquisitions (notably Richfield Oil Corporation, 1966) that made Atlantic Richfield the 12th largest U.S. corporation. He resigned to form Hondo Oil & Gas Co. (1986), which through a merger with Pauley Petroleum, Inc. (1987) became one of the country's largest private oil companies. He became the largest individual landholder in the U.S.A., with ranches totaling one million acres. He was noted for his humanistic interests and long affiliation with the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.