|$19.2 Billion 
|December 11, 1945
|Country of Origin:
|United States of America
|Source of Wealth:
|Oil and Gas Business
- Fracking pioneer Harold Hamm founded and chairs Continental Resources, one of the nation's biggest independent oil companies.
- The 13th child of Oklahoma sharecroppers, he picked cotton barefoot as a child and started working at a gas station at age 16 to support his family.
- He eventually started his own trucking company hauling water to and from oilfields, then in 1971 took out a loan to drill his first well.
- In the 1990s he had the vision to use horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in North Dakota's Bakken region, transforming the US oil industry.
- Today Continental produces more than 330,000 barrels per day, much of it from North Dakota. Hamm owns 80% of the company.
Rated 105 on the list of the world’s richest people, Harold Hamm’s net worth is over $19.2 billion. Although Hamm’s wealth is impressive, his real story is even more amazing. The son of an Oklahoma sharecropper, Hamm was the youngest of 13 living in a one-bedroom house with no electricity or running water. At the age of 17, he left home, finished high school and went to work and started saving.
From Pumping Gas to Drilling Oil
His first job at a gas station in Enid, OK exposed the hard-working teen to the oil industry. With no funds for school, Hamm’s desire to learn about the business kept him motivated. His knowledge of the industry grew as he cleaned tanks, pumped gas and asked questions. He studied maps and talked to geologists. He soaked up conversations with contractors, field workers and engineers.
After two years Hamm purchased a fluid-hauler and started his first business on a pursuit to make serious money, Harold Hamm Tank Truck Service. Within a short time, Hamm’s speculation on a promising map site took him to northern Oklahoma and his first wildcat well. He kept drilling and sinking money into the oil patch experiencing some success. Three years later his drilling company earned over $1.5 million.
From Millionaire to Billionaire
Success did not stop Harold Hamm’s quest for more knowledge. He went to college, studied geology and gained interest in the production of crude oil. His site shifted to western North Dakota and the Bakken Shale. New drilling techniques, cutting-edge technology and his positive philosophy helped uncover one of the country’s most promising oil discoveries.
Over 2 decades later the chairman and chief executive officer of Continental Resources Inc, Harold Hamm, spreads his good fortune with the citizens of North Dakota. Locals talk about the unassuming billionaire flying in on his corporate jet, checking the fields in his pickup truck and eating at a local diner. Employees share stories about the CEO hosting company picnics at his home.
Character and Class
Hamm’s story of self-made fortune is unusual in many ways. He remained true to himself. No obstacles were too big, no excuses got in his way”he didn’t give up. He used whatever resources he could to reach his goals. Plus, he was willing to get his hands dirty and work as hard as any of his employees.
Hamm is not interested in glory and fame. He is interested in his money making a difference in the world. Along with his wife Sue Ann, Hamm donated over $10 million funding the Harold Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes Center. They also committed to sharing more of their personal fortune by joining other wealthy Americans in signing the Giving Pledge.
Oil tycoon and self-made billionaire Harold Hamm has never forgotten where he came from. He’s modeled his expectations through his work ethic and positive attitude. Hamm’s generosity and humility have earned a prize greater than money. He’s earned respect and admiration.
As of 2022, Harold Hamm’s net worth is $19.2 Billion dollars.
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