Samuel (Sam) R. Noble

Class of
Samuel (Sam) R. Noble

Samuel (Sam) R. Noble

“Although I wish my personal achievements were sufficient to merit the recognition individually, I realize without a false modesty that this honor can only be considered because of the contribution of the Noble Family, particularly through the achievements of The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation.”
Sam Noble, 1974


Oklahoma native Samuel Lloyd Noble completed one year at the University of Oklahoma before returning home to help with the family business upon his father’s death. After the hardware business was sold, he entered the Navy and was discharged in 1919. He returned to OU and later began drilling for wells when oil was discovered on family land. Noble learned the business from friends who roughnecked during the summers, met oilman A. O. Olson and partnered with him to create the Noble-Olson Drilling Company in 1921. Noted for speed in drilling wells and for its lack of problems in getting the job done, the company grew with the oil boom’s increased demand for rigs. The partners split their assets in 1930 and Noble Drilling was formed and Samedan (named for Mr. Noble’s three children) Oil Company was created in 1931 as an exploration and oil and gas production company. Mr. Noble also served in the Oklahoma Legislature from 1924 to 1930 and as a member of the Board of Regents at the University of Oklahoma. Mr. Noble created The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, in honor of his father, headquartered in Ardmore in 1952, with the purpose of improving agriculture by educating farmers, providing research grants in the study of cancer, and to fund education and charitable organizations.

Fun fact

In 1945, Sam Noble’s father, S. Lloyd Noble, created the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation in honor of his father, Samuel Roberts Noble. When Sam’s father died in 1950, there was approximately $10 million in assets left to the Foundation. By 1988, the assets had grown to $286 million and Sam Noble was the guiding hand in giving away the earnings. In 1995, The Noble Foundation was worth over $600 million.

Oklahoma connections

Noble came to Ardmore, Oklahoma, with his parents.









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