Sid W. Richardson

Philanthropy, 1912

Sid W. Richardson was born in Athens, Texas on April 25, 1891. After spending a year at Baylor, he attended Simmons College from 1911 to 1912. At Simmons, he and President Sandefer developed a special relationship that remained important to Sid throughout his life.

He left HSU and began what would be a life-long career in the oil business. In 1933, he was able to turn his oil business into a booming enterprise through the use of a small investment and a friend with drilling expertise. From that point forward, his hard work, in addition to his ability to build relationships with people of all walks of life, turned almost every business undertaking into success. He served as president of Sid Richardson Gasoline Co. in Kermit, Texas, Sid Richardson Carbon Company in Odessa, Texas, and Sid W. Richardson, Inc. in Fort Worth. He also worked in the cattle industry, building large cattle and ranching operations.

Throughout his life, Richardson’s concern was for how his financial success could benefit others. He began the Sid Richardson Foundation in 1947, and through it, was able to quietly and generously contribute to those who needed his help. His philanthropy extended to churches, schools, and hospitals throughout the country, and particularly benefited the areas of education, healthcare, human services, and the arts throughout Texas.

In 1968, Hardin-Simmons University dedicated the Sid Richardson Science Center, the result of a large gift from the Sid Richardson Foundation in honor of Richardson. When asked to describe his own business philosophy, he said, “I guess my philosophy of business life is: Don’t be in too big of a hurry, don’t get excited, and don’t lose your sense of humor.” Richardson died quietly in his sleep after a full day of work on September 30, 1959.

Inducted on April 5, 2002.