Larry Nichols

Oilman & Philanthropist

Devon Energy is a leading independent energy company engaged primarily in the exploration, development and production of natural gas and oil. The company’s operations are concentrated in various North American onshore areas that extend from the Canadian Arctic to the Gulf Coast in the United States. But let’s go back to the beginning. John Nichols, the father of Larry Nichols, went to work as a public accountant in Oklahoma City in 1936. The tax knowledge he gained while working for several oil and gas companies helped him create the world’s first oil and gas drilling fund registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It changed the way drilling programs were funded in this country until Congress restructured tax laws in 1986. In 1971, father and son co-founded Devon Energy and Larry Nichols assumed the company’s chairmanship in 2000. He has served as Devon’s CEO since 1980 and was President from 1976 until 2003. A graduate of Oklahoma City’s Casady School (1960), Nichols holds a B.A. in Geology from Princeton University (1964) and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School (1967). He served as a law clerk to both Associate Justice Tom Clark and Chief Justice Earl Warren of the United States Supreme Court. Devon is the only U.S. energy company to be listed among the Fortune 500, the Fortune World’s Most Admired Companies and the Fortune 100 Best Companies to work for. And it all started with four and a half employees and a shared receptionist. Larry Nichols tells the story in this oral history for Voices of Oklahoma made possible by those who believe in preserving Oklahoma’s legacy one voice at a time on

Interview with Larry Nichols

Program Credits:
Larry Nichols — Interviewee
John Erling — Interviewer
Mel Myers — Announcer

Honest Media
Mel Myers — Audio Editor

Müllerhaus Legacy Website Team
Douglas Miller — Art Director
Mark DeMoss — Webmaster
Laura Hyde — Upload Coordinator
Anne Hall — Transcriptionist

Date Created: March 1, 2012

Date Published: May 23, 2012

Notes: Recorded by John Erling in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Digital Audio Sound Recording, Non-Music.