Joseph H. Williams

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Joseph H. Williams

Joseph H. Williams

“This man is a great Oklahoman who has earned superb personal and professional stature of his own while at the same time has developed significant national recognition for the State of Oklahoma.”
William C. Douce, 1988


Oklahoma native Joseph H. Williams was born in Tulsa and graduated from Yale University in 1956 and began his military service as an officer in the U.S. Army Artillery, stationed in Germany. Upon his return to the U.S., Williams joined Williams Brothers in 1959 as a timekeeper on pipeline projects in Kentucky and Minnesota. He gradually rose to become chairman and chief executive officer of the Tulsa-based Williams Companies, Inc. and transformed the group from a pipeline engineering and construction firm to a diversified corporation operating gas and oil pipelines and a nationwide telecommunications network. Williams is a former chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the board of governors of The Nature Conservancy, and the Metropolitan Tulsa Chamber of Commerce. He has served on the boards of Williams Companies, Inc., the Orvis Co., the Cornell Lab or Ornithology, and AEA Investors, Inc. Additionally, Williams has served on Tulsa’s Committee of 200, the Yale Corporation, the Business Council, and the Tulsa Economic Development Foundation. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1988 and the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame in 2002, in addition to receiving honorary degrees from the University of Tulsa and Phillips University.

Fun fact

Joseph Williams was an avid outdoorsman and naturalist and served as the first chairman and director of the Oklahoma Conservancy, a state organization dedicated to the conservation of Oklahoma’s wildlife and environment. He was also a director of the Audobon Society.

Oklahoma connections

Williams was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma.








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