Cockrell School of Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin


Jack Zarrow

Jack Zarrow, a Russian immigrant's son who built a philanthropic pipeline that continues to fuel various charity efforts in and beyond Tulsa, died February 2, 2012. He was 86.

The younger brother of Henry Zarrow, founder of Tulsa-based Sooner Pipe and Supply Co., Jack Zarrow joined the business in 1947. In helping Sooner Pipe become one of the most prominent oil-and-gas supply companies worldwide, he would serve as the company's executive vice president, as well as president and CEO of the Zarrow family's growing stable of nonpipeline oil enterprises.

Born in Tulsa in 1925, Jack C. Zarrow was the third child of Russian immigrants Sam and Rose Zarrow. Sam Zarrow had come to America from Russia as a young man to escape anti-Jewish pogroms there. The family relocated to Tulsa from Milwaukee in 1916. Jack Zarrow married Texas-native Maxine Foreman, another UT Austin graduate, in 1947, the same year he graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelors of Science in Petroleum Engineering. Zarrow, who waited tables while completing his degree at UT Austin, was the first of his family to graduate from college.

After graduating from UT Austin, he returned to Tulsa to join the family scrap business, which his brother had started in 1938 and by that time also included their father. As president and CEO of the family's nonpipe enterprises, Jack Zarrow oversaw the Bigheart group of oil transport companies, TK Valve & Manufacturing, Prime Actuator Control Systems and Zarrow Holding Co. Employing more than 1,000 people on four continents, the companies designed and manufactured high-tech equipment used by oil firms around the globe.

Business success would enable the Zarrows to support countless causes and charities. The Maxine and Jack Zarrow Family Foundation provides funding primarily to Tulsa-area charities, especially those supporting the arts, children, mental health and Jewish concerns. Beyond Tulsa, the foundation has established professorships at the Mayo Clinic, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas at Austin, and has donated to Jewish causes in the United States and Israel.

Jack Zarrow also co-founded and served as a trustee for the Zarrow Families Foundation. He served on the boards of many Tulsa institutions, including the University of Tulsa and the Gilcrease Museum, where he was a former chairman and a director emeritus. He was also a longtime donor, underwriting many museum improvements, including its 1987 expansion. Zarrow also served on the boards of Hillcrest Medical Center, the Tulsa Education Foundation, the National Conference for Community and Justice, the Jewish Federation of Tulsa and the Tulsa Jewish Retirement & Health Care Center, which he and his wife were instrumental in establishing. Jack was also a long time board member of the Grand River Dam Authority for the State of Oklahoma.

Fighting homelessness was another favorite cause of the Zarrows. The Jack and Maxine Zarrow family, together with the Henry and Anne Zarrow family, donated the land where the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless was built.

A Distinguished Graduate of the Cockrell School of Engineering, Jack and Maxine established 10 endowed funds to support engineering and education at UT Austin, including the Jack C. Zarrow Centennial Professorship in Petroleum Engineering.

 

Questions?

Contact Catherine Campbell at 512-471-3208