Lew O. Ward

Class of
Lew O. Ward

Lew O. Ward

“Lew has been one of the best teachers I have ever had in discussions about the Cherokee Strip, his deep love of his own country, as well as his deep love of Oklahoma, and above all how he embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship that made this state so great.”
Rufus Fears, American historian, author and scholar


Lew O. Ward, best known as an oil and gas producer, was the chairman of Ward Petroleum Corporation. Born in Oklahoma City, his father’s work in the oil industry moved his family from one oilfield town to another during his childhood. Ward earned a degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 1953 before serving with the United States Army in Okinawa during the Korean War. Following his tour, he returned home and took a job in Tulsa with Delhi-Taylor Oil Corporation.

Ward and his wife, Myra, returned to Enid in 1956, where he formed Ward-Gungoll Oil Investments with his father-in-law. In 1963, he founded what is now Ward Petroleum Corporation, and has also founded Ward Drilling Company, Rambler Well Service, Geronimo Trucking, and Caprock Supply.

Ward was president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association, and the Enid Chamber of Commerce, and he served on the boards of Oklahoma Nature Conservancy and the National Petroleum Council. He received the Oklahoma Military Academy Distinguished Alumnus Award, the Trailblazer Award from OU’s Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy, the Lone Star Steel Company Chief Roughneck Award for Lifetime Achievement and was been inducted into OU’s College of Engineering Distinguished Graduates Society. The Enid Chamber of Commerce named him Businessman of the Year in 1998 and Citizen of the Year in 2007.

Fun fact

Lew’s father was a driller, a pusher, and later a drilling superintendent, so drilling was in Lew’s blood from the start. Once big enough, Lew spent summers working as a roustabout and roughneck.

Oklahoma connections

Lew was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.








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