George Kaiser

The hard-working and admirable George Kaiser is among the richest people in the world and considered to be one of the most generous American philanthropists. The Harvard graduate began making his fortune when he took over the Kaiser-Francis Oil Co. in 1969. His interests reach from oil and gas to banking, and Forbes lists him as the 51st richest man in the United States.

Considered the smartest oilman in the business, George Kaiser took his family-owned, privately held oil and drilling company to the 23rd largest nonpublic energy exploration company by 2010. Kaiser also purchased the Bank of Oklahoma in 1990 from the FDIC. Today, he serves as chairman for the BOK Financial Corporation in Tulsa.

Kaiser was listed in Business Week’s top 50 American philanthropists in 2008. He contributes to numerous Oklahoma foundations, and is considered to be to Oklahoma what Warren Buffet is to Nebraska. Although he shy’s away from the public light, his influence can be found all over Tulsa. He is amongst other billionaires such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet who have signed the Giving Pledge that promises to donate at least half of their wealth to charity.