- Richest Business › Richest Billionaires
- Net Worth:
- $17 Billion
- Date of Birth:
- Dec 11, 1945 (77 years old)
- Place of Birth:
What is Harold Hamm's Net Worth?
Harold Hamm is an American oilman/businessman who has a net worth of $17 billion. Harold Hamm has at various times been the richest person in Oklahoma and one of the richest people in America. Harold Hamm is best known for his work extracting tight oil resources in the Western and Southwestern United States. He is the founder and chairman of Continental Resources, an Oklahoma City-based natural gas and petroleum company that specializes in directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
In March of 2013, various news outlets reported that Harold and his wife Sue Ann Hamm were seeking what could have potentially been the most expensive divorce in human history. Sue Ann filed for divorce in Oklahoma on May 19, 2012 after being married for nearly 25 years. At the time of the filing, the couple had two children who were both over the age of 18. Sue Ann reportedly filed for divorce after catching Harold cheating. Sue Ann was seeking half of Harold's fortune which reached as high as $20 billion during the proceedings.
Some analysts thought Sue Ann could have been entitled to $8-9 billion dollars. At the time that would have been the largest divorce settlement of all time.
In November 2014, an Oklahoma judge put an end to the case and ordered Harold to pay Sue Ann $1 billion. Harold was ordered to pay $300 million in cash by the end of 2014 and the remaining balance in monthly installments with interest. Here's a copy of the $970 million check he cut:
Harold Hamm was born on December 11, 1945 in Lexington, Oklahoma as the 13th and youngest child of cotton sharecroppers Leland and Jane.
At 21 years of age in 1967, Hamm founded the Shelly Dean Oil Company, named after his two daughters. The company was later renamed Continental Resources in 1990. Five years after that, the company discovered North Dakota's Cedar Hills Field, one of the largest onshore fields in the US as ranked by liquid-proved reserves. Notably, Continental Resources became the first group to develop the field using only directional drilling. The company later went on to lead development of the Bakken Formation, a large rock unit spanning North Dakota and Montana. In 2004, Continental Resources completed the first commercially successful well in the North Dakota portion of Bakken using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
In 2007, Continental Resources made its initial public offering, with Hamm selling around $300 million worth of shares. The company continued to expand after going public. In 2010, it innovated a new drilling technique that required only one pad to drill four wells. Six years later, the company sold its lucrative North Dakota and Montana assets for $222 million, and the year after that, sold 26,000 acres in the Arkoma Basin for $68 million. In 2021, Continental Resources purchased vast swaths of leasehold and royalty acres in the Permian Basin. The transaction with owner Pioneer Natural Resources was estimated at $3.25 billion.
Due to his commercial success and prominent public profile, Hamm was named by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as his choice for energy advisor. Soon after this was announced in early 2012, Hamm donated $985,000 to the super PAC Restore Our Future in support of Romney's campaign. Ultimately, Romney lost the election.
During the 2016 presidential election cycle, Hamm spoke out against President Obama at the Republican National Convention. He criticized the POTUS for imposing too-strict regulations on oil companies, and also railed against the Iran nuclear deal.
On the philanthropic side of things, Hamm and his wife established the Harold and Sue Ann Hamm Foundation. Through the Foundation, they created the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center at the University of Oklahoma. They also made a $12 million gift to the University of Mary in North Dakota to create the Hamm School of Engineering.
Honors and Awards
Hamm has received a number of accolades over the years for his business success. He was named the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2007, and the International Energy Policy Conference's Energy Advocate of the Year in 2009. In 2011, Hamm was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Among his other plaudits, he won the Horatio Alger Award and Platts Global Energy's Lifetime Achievement Award.
With his first wife, Judith Ann, Hamm had three children. The couple eventually divorced in 1987. The next year, Hamm married Sue Ann Arnall, a lawyer and economist who also served as an executive at Continental Resources. The two separated in 2005 before divorcing in 2014.
Hamm remains a lifelong resident of Oklahoma. He resides in the capital, Oklahoma City, and also owns houses in Nichols Hills and Enid.