Cockrell School of Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin


Harry Trueblood

Harry A. Trueblood, Jr. was born in Wichita Falls August 28, 1925 to Harry and Marguerite Barnhart Trueblood, and raised in Childress.  A born entrepreneur, he had his first job at 11, participated in his first "founding" at age 12 when he helped launch Boy Scout Troop 63 and rose to the rank of Eagle Scout by June, 1940 while helping found an Explorer Scout troop.  Harry graduated from high school in 1942 and entered Texas A & M College in August before his 17th birthday.  He transferred to UT Austin after one semester when it became evident that serving in the ROTC wouldn't assure he could graduate with his BSPE degree before mandatory wartime army service.  Harry attended UT from January, 1943 until he graduated in August, 1948 except for period 1944-46 of naval service in the Pacific aboard a minesweeper.  While on campus, he belonged to Kappa Alpha (VP) and was elected a Texas Cowboy (Camp Cook).

Harry says the opportunity to draw his first salary with the California Company in its Miss/LA division trumped his graduation and his diploma was mailed.  He also worked in Calco's Gulf Coast division offshore and onshore as a drilling engineer until May 1951 when he resigned, returned to Texas, and joined a joint venture of two Houston independents with operations in the DJ Basin in Sterling, CO and west Texas.

After one year with the JV, Harry saw an opportunity to become a founder again, starting his own consulting firm in Sterling supervising drilling and completing wells for operators who had no personnel in the area.  Immediate success of this firm and control of his life led him to renew contact with Miss Lucile Bernard of New Orleans.  Harry says he pulled off "his greatest sales pitch ever" by convincing her to marry him in New Orleans on January 22, 1953.  Harry and Lucile have been married over sixty years, their family including daughter Katherine (1955), son John (1957), and two teenage grandchildren, Erin Trueblood Astin and Jack Trueblood.

In May 1953, Harry moved his business to Denver where, once again, he became a founder—this time as CEO of a startup E&P company with about a dozen private investors.  After a successful property acquisition and two significant field extensions in the San Juan Basin on a development farmout, it became necessary to access sizable funds from the public; Harry created Consolidated Oil & Gas, Inc. (CGS) in 1958 by a back door merger with a small public company.   As CGS's CEO during the next ten years, Harry completed several acquisitions of properties and companies as well as finding several significant oil and natural gas discoveries, growing to a market value in excess of $300 million.

A significant contributor to CGS's growth was the expansion of its business into recreation land sales with the acquisition of Eagle County Development Corp (ECDC) in the fall of 1964.  ECDC was a company Harry helped create as a personal investment in 1962 by advancing the money required to exercise an option to acquire a sheep ranch comprising about 35% of the fee simple acreage in the Vail Valley.  A combination of high income taxes on land sales and overwhelming need for capital to develop east Vail led his 50% partners to seek a tax free merger after only two years.  CGS accommodated them by acquiring ECDC as a subsidiary and enjoyed earnings from land sales for the next 20 years by expanding into Hawaii.   After much of the Vail land had been sold, a new resort community, Princeville, on the north shore of Kauai, HI launched in 1969, developed as a subsidiary of CGS until 1984, then spun off to CGS shareholders.   Harry also oversaw several spinoffs of prior acquisitions of E&P subsidiaries and served as their CEO during that downsizing period.  Altogether, over his corporate career, Harry served as CEO of eight public companies of which seven he helped to create.

Harry's service to industry organizations includes IPAA, where he served as VP, Director and Executive Committee member and a member of its Nat Gas Committee for over 50 years.  He received its "Hard Hat" award for his efforts in helping initiate common carrier status for natural gas pipelines.  He served on the Executive Committee of the Natural Gas Supply Committee in the 1980s.  In 2004 Harry was inducted into the inaugural class of Rocky Mountain Oil & Gas Hall of Fame.  He was a founding member of IPANM and IPAMS in the 1970s and received the latter's "Wildcatter" lifetime achievement award in 2006.  In that same year, he received the prestigious Distinguished Eagle Scout award from the BSA and in 2007, Harry was honored as a Distinguished Graduate of the Cockrell School of Engineering at UT Austin.  Harry is currently a member of the SPE Legion of Honor, Rocky Mountain Petroleum Pioneers and was formerly a member of the API 25 Year Club.

Outside of the energy industry, Harry has been recognized extensively for his volunteer and philanthropic activities.  Early in his career, he was elected a member of the Young Presidents Organization, Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World, Chief Executives Organization, and World President's Organization.  Harry also founded the Harry Trueblood Foundation in 1968 which funds scholarships based on merit for many Colorado educational institutions as well as the Harry Trueblood Foundation Endowed Scholarship in Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at UT Austin.  His UT affiliations include UT Chancellor's Council, the President's Associates, and the Littlefield Society as well as a lifetime member of the Ex-Student's and Cowboy Alumni Assoc.

Questions?

Contact Catherine Campbell at 512-471-3208