Born to Greek immigrant parents in Galveston, Texas, George Mitchell earned a degree from Texas A&M University and graduated first in his class in petroleum engineering. He started an independent oil and gas company, Mitchell Energy & Development Corporation, and built it into a Fortune 500 company. During his career, he participated in the development of approximately 10,000 wells, including more than 1,000 wildcat wells. In the 1980s and 1990s, his company pioneered new technology for horizontal drilling of natural gas that has since been widely adopted by the industry, spawning an oil and gas boom that has altered the U.S. energy security position.

George Mitchell’s interest in sustainable development—a combination of social, economic and environmental protection—inspired his founding of The Woodlands in the 1970s. He was known for his philanthropic efforts to revitalize his hometown of Galveston, Texas, as well as his financial support for universities and research organizations, including his alma mater, Texas A&M University. His contributions to universities and research organizations exceed $160M. George Mitchell was honored at TAMEST’s ninth annual conference—Energy for Life: From Human Metabolism to Powering the Planet—held in Houston on January 12-13, 2012. View the George Mitchell Tribute Video here [Flash video]. Read more about George Mitchell at the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation website here.