WASHINGTON, Dec. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, today announced that Harold G. Hamm, founder, chairman and CEO, Continental Resources, has been selected for membership in the prestigious organization. Mr. Hamm joins 12 other accomplished business and civic leaders from across North America in receiving this honor in 2016. Since its establishment in 1947, the Horatio Alger Award is annually bestowed upon recognized leaders who have succeeded, despite facing adversity, and who are committed to both philanthropy and higher education.
Growing up in rural Oklahoma, Mr. Hamm was the last of 13 children born to sharecroppers. From a young age, he helped with many chores, including hoeing corn and picking cotton. In fact, his first memory was picking tomatoes barefoot in the warm Oklahoma red dirt. As a teenager, he went to work in the oilfield services business and by the age of 21, he had started his own one-man, one-pump-truck operation cleaning the bottom of barrels. Less than a year later, Mr. Hamm established what would become Continental Resources and has since built a grassroots startup into an NYSE-traded, top 10 producer of petroleum liquids in the United States. In recognition of his accomplishments, Mr. Hamm was named Ernst & Young's "Entrepreneur of the Year" in 2007 and one of TIME Magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World" in 2012.
"Mr. Hamm learned the value of hard work from a young age," said Byron Trott, president and CEO, Horatio Alger Association and 2011 Horatio Alger Award recipient. "With a single truck and perseverance, he was able to turn a small startup into a billion-dollar business – and one that is changing the world in which we live. To induct someone of Mr. Hamm's caliber of success into the Association is a true honor, and I am certain that he will serve as a remarkable role model for our Scholars."
Today, as a voice for America's oil and natural gas industry, Mr. Hamm is on a mission to help make America energy independent within the next decade. He sits on a number of boards devoted to this cause, including the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance, which he co-founded, as well as the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association and the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board. Dedicated to developing the next generation of energy leaders, Mr. Hamm also established the Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering at the University of North Dakota. He is passionate about finding a cure for diabetes, suffering from Type 2 diabetes himself, and donated more than $30 million to found the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. In 2011, Mr. Hamm became a signatory of The Giving Pledge, committing to give away the majority of his wealth during his lifetime.
Regarding the Horatio Alger Award, Mr. Hamm commented, "I consider myself extremely lucky to have discovered my passion in life at an early age. I always knew I wanted to work in the oil business, and I was determined to be successful despite the challenges that could have thwarted me. I could not be more grateful to receive this prestigious award, and I look forward to meeting the Horatio Alger Scholars and helping them realize their own passions and achieve their dreams."
Through its Members, Horatio Alger Association aims to educate young people about the limitless opportunities afforded to them by the free-enterprise system. To further this goal, the organization awards scholarships to outstanding high school students who are committed to pursuing higher education and giving back to their communities. Like Association Members, Horatio Alger Scholars have faced numerous challenges, but have also displayed unmatched resilience in overcoming them. Since the scholarship program was established in 1984, Horatio Alger Association has provided more than $110 million to students in need. Scholarships are funded solely through the generosity of Association Members, Life Partners and friends.
Mr. Hamm and 12 other honorees in the Member Class of 2016 will be officially welcomed into the organization during the 69th Annual Horatio Alger Award Induction Ceremonies in Washington, D.C., from March 31-April 2, 2016. In addition to recognizing these tremendous leaders, Horatio Alger Association will also honor its 2016 National Scholarship recipients, affording both groups the opportunity to meet and learn from one another.
For more information about Horatio Alger Association and a full list of its Class of 2016, please visit www.horatioalger.org.
About Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans:
Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc. is dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles. The Association honors the achievements of outstanding leaders who have accomplished remarkable successes in spite of adversity by bestowing upon them the Horatio Alger Award and inducting them as lifetime Members. Horatio Alger Members support promising young people with the resources and confidence needed to overcome adversity and pursue their dreams through higher education. Thanks to their generosity, the Association awards more than $11 million annually in undergraduate and graduate need-based scholarships across the United States and Canada and provides college support and mentoring services to its Scholars. Since 1984, the Association has awarded more than $110 million in college scholarships to more than 22,000 deserving young people. For more information, please visit www.horatioalger.org.
SOURCE Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc.