The "great wildcatter"

Tom Lehman uswa12 at
Fri Sep 25 05:38:05 PDT 1998

Dear Doug and the LBOers,

In Thomas Ferguson's book there are a few pages dealing with the political realignment of big money prior to the 1936 presidential election. One group that Ferguson mentions are the big independents in the oil patch: Sid Richardson, Clint Murchison and M.L. Benedum of Benedum-Trees.

I don't know anything about the politics of Sid Richardson or Clint Murchison. I do know about the politics of Mike Benedum, which to put it mildly were liberal labor democratic somewhere to the left of FDR. God only knows how much money Mike put into democratic politics during his career. I really get a kick out of pictures I have seen of Mike looking throughly pleased having his picture taken with John L. Lewis and Phil Murray or riding in an open car with FDR sitting beside him during a campaign in the 30's. Interestingly enough in this picture future Pennsylvania governor and Mellon family boot-licker Davy Lawrence is crammed into a rumble seat and that is noted on the picture.

Today Mike's money still exists in the form of the Benedum foundation an educational and charitable trust. They do nice stuff sort of like the Mellons. A dear old friend of mine the late HAH III put it this way about the Benedum Foundation. Mike may have tried to control things from beyond the grave; no one has been successful at that.

If you ever want some light reading try The Great Wildcatter by Sam Mallison; available at fine used book stores everywhere.

I am curious about the politics of Sid Richardson and Clint Murchison, anyone know anything about them?

Sincerely, Tom Lehman

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